Frequently Asked Questions

Nick Potter qualified in 1993 from the British School of Osteopathy. He has a diploma in Medical Acupuncture.

Nick is Principal and Clinical Director of the Centre for Physical Medicine.

He co-founded The London Spine Clinic, a private neurosurgical unit in Harley Street where he worked with a multi-disciplinary team, treating complex spinal and musculoskeletal problems. 

He now works at the Princess Grace Hospital Orthopaedic Centre.  He has also co-convened the weekly, spinal multi-disciplinary team meeting, regularly attended by 20 specialists.

He is fondly known as 'Nick-the-Neck' by his colleagues, as he specialises in cervical spine injuries as well as head, neck and facial pain syndromes.  At his Fulham clinic (Basuto Medical Centre, 22 years) he worked closely with a team of GPs in primary care. He has a special interest in pregnancy related problems and adolescents.

He 'cut his teeth' in the sports world but soon realised he was more academically challenged and interested in chronic, complex and multi system problems in the general population.

He has also been consultant to Brevan Howard Asset Management on human performance for 5 years.

He has been a keen sportsman himself (Rugby, Marathon, Triathlon) and still enjoys running and tennis. He has coached junior rugby at Henley Rugby Club for 7 years. He is married with two children to whom he is devoted.  Possibly most important of all for patients, he has had a spinal injury himself.

Nick Potter
BSc (Ost), MRO, Dip.Myo.Ac_ Registered Osteopath

To find out more about Nick's clinic and what he does for back and neck pain, please go to:

http://www.backscience.co.uk/

Not really.  If you follow the instructions in the bakpro booklet, or on the exercise videos, you shouldn't  have any problems. Some people have a greater tendancy to bruise, particularly if they are taking special mediciation for clotting disorders or some heart diseases (eg Aspirin or Warfarin). They should use much lighter pressure with the tools. Obviously, if they repeatedly bruise, then they should stop using the tools. There should not be any problems with them using the roller or the other exercise tools.

Absolutely. In fact we are hoping that everyone can get relief from our product. We are all getting older and living longer, it would be nice to live it without pain wouldn't it?

The Stim Ball is specifically designed to be easy to hold, particularly if you have arthritis in your hands. The programme as well as the tools are designed to improve flexibility not only in your muscles but also in your joints.  Less pain and stiffness revives your mood and motivation for life. You think better, work better and sleep better.  It can literally take years off how you feel.  Give it a go, you won't look back.

We have taken a great deal of care to make sure that our product is of the highest quality and standard.  It has been tested to be strong, durable and safe to a specific and practical design.

It is safe for children and has no small parts to be concerned about.

If you follow all of the instructions in the booklet there should be no problems.

 

Most 'everyday' headaches are 'tension' headaches. These are caused by the muscles in your neck contracting and shortening producing painful trigger points. They also irritate the small nerves of the head and neck.  The result is often a headache or facial pain.

The bakpro programme can help you with such headaches. The tools release the trigger points in the muscles which contribute to the pain and the breathing, sleep and stretching programme release the causes of the tension.

Have a go - we don't think you will be disappointed.

Believe it or not lifting heavy loads is not the most common cause of back pain or injury, though it is a cause in some cases.  Most people can size up the weight of something as they approach lifting it and subconsciously prepare for the strain. Lifting while reaching forward is definitely a no-no, for example leaning into the boot of a car or twisting whilst lifting.  Repetitive bending and twisting without bracing or supporting yourself is also a common cause of sudden back strain.  Occasionally, such loading can cause damage to a disc in your back which bulges like a car tyre and causes extreme pain.  If the bulge is large enough it can press onto a nerve and cause pain into the leg as sciatica.

By far the most common cause is sitting for prolonged periods, worse still with poor posture and a bad chair and workstation. Long distance driving can also be a culprit, particularly if then getting out and lifting.  Sitting causes the discs in the spine to bulge placing strain on the back of the disc.  Over time this can cause weaknesses to develop in them.

This is made worse by 'weekend warrior' unaccustomed exercise which suddenly loads the back e.g. golf, tennis and gardening.  Repetitive one sided activities are also bad as they cause uneven loading to the spine and adverse patterns of muscle activity to develop.  Mums with young children are a good example, as they carry them on their hips as well as bend and twist into cots and buggies.

Emotional stress and stress in the workplace can also cause muscle tension which develops into neck and back pain

 

There are several different types of back pain, most of which are mechanical in nature ie they are due to one of the structures in the spine being strained or overused.  Most of them will pass eventually with rest and treatment.  Deep constant aching is more consistent with inflammatory pain from a joint or disc and tends to feel hot and throbbing.  Sharp stabs of pain usually indicate muscle spasm or nerve involvement.  Most mechanical back pain is relieved by lying down and taking load off the spine. There are a few conditions which are not of spinal origin but which present with pain in the back (referred pain) e.g. kidney stones, gall bladder stones, ectopic pregnancy, ovarian cysts to name few.  The thing to remember is that these causes of back pain usually make you feel unwell in other ways and are not made worse or better by movement of the spine.

The Bakpro tools are completely safe to use and designed to relieve muscle tension and painful trigger points in muscle, which originate from almost any source.  The foam roller is also excellent if you have any curvature in your spine due to the osteoporosis.  Do 10 mins lying along it down your spine, say in the evening, whilst doing the breathing training.
 
The Hypermobility will also cause trigger points to develop and can be relieved particularly with the S-shaped tool.
 
Pretty much all of the exercises should be safe too.
 
I would suggest that you start by doing the stretches for the head, neck and thoracic spine first.  Once you have purchased your Bakpro box set, go to My Account on the website use your unique identifier number (on the inside lid of the box and on the DVD sleeve eg. BAK...) to login and release up the exercises for you.  If you hover over the mannequin with your mouse, the body parts will be highlighted and have correlating special exercises.
 
Have a go at the breathing training, having watched the video online on how to do it.  The booklet in the boxset is also packed with tips about it.  The breathing will help your neck enormously (as you probably breathe from your neck and upper chest instead of from your diaphragm) as well as the trigger points in your neck and shoulder muscles.   Furthermore people in pain tend to hyperventilate (breathe too shallow and too fast) which means they store lactate in the muscles which further makes them sensitive.
 
Try not to fear pain and be brave with the tools, as regular use should not only relieve the pain but the points will get less tender each time you attack them.
 
One more thing, it is beneficial to take high levels of Vitamin D3 if you have osteoporosis.  Hypermobile patients also tend to be deficient in it anyway so it's worth adding it to your daily routine.

With the bakpro programme, you don't need to be in a gym or studio and you don't need any other expensive or cumbersome equipment.

Ask Nick…

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Nick and the bakpro team of experts will get back to you as soon as possible.