I SUFFER from insomnia and its really affecting my work and life in general. Would sleeping tablets help?

First of all, you should visit your GP to see if your insomnia is a symptom of an underlying condition. If not, I would advise that you persist with some self-help tips before considering sleeping tablets. Simple changes to your daytime and night-time habits can sometimes be all it takes to get a good nights sleep, some of these changes include set a specific time for getting up a each day, don't nap during the day, take daily morning or afternoon exercise, such as thirty minutes walking or cycling and stop drinking caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee for a few hours before bedtime.

If making changes to your daytime and night-time habits doesn't help, your GP may prescribe sleeping pills or refer you for some cognitive behavioural therapy.

MY GP recently told me I had tension headaches. She didn't really tell me what this meant and I feel quite confused about this. Can you give me more information?

Tension headaches are the most common form of headache.

They feel like a constant ache that affects both sides of the head, as though a tight band is stretched around it.

They are considered as everyday headaches. The exact cause of tension headaches are unclear, but they are completely normal and usually nothing to worry about.

Tension headaches can usually be treated with ordinary painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Lifestyle changes, such as getting regular sleep, reducing stress and staying well hydrated, may also help. Make an appointment to see your GP if you get pain when chewing on combing your hair, you have a bad throbbing pain at the front or side of your head, your headache keeps coming back and you feel sick, vomit and find light or noise painful.

Also consult your GP if your headache doesn't subside and gets worse over time and you get other symptoms, for example your arms or legs feel numb or weak.

WHAT is Kyphosis?

Everyone has a slightly curved spine but Kyphosis is an abnormal curving that causes the top of the back to appear hunched.

In mild cases of Kyphosis, there will be no other symptoms. More severe cases can associated with back pain and tenderness. Very severe cases can cause difficulties with breathing or eating.

A physical examination by your GP can confirm an abnormal curve in the spine. They may ask you to do simple exercises or lie down in order to confirm the diagnosis. Some curved spines are associated with back posture and can be corrected by sitting correctly and exercising to strengthen the back.

Treatment depends on the type of Kyphosis, and whether the curve in the spine is causing pain or any other symptoms. Surgery is not usually required, unless Kyphosis is severe. Children with Kyphosis may find their symptoms improve by the use of a back brace.