Back To Back Traffic Could Be Damaging Your Spine, Warns Experienced Chiropractor in Southend

traffic in southend on seaChristmas is fast approaching and that means at one point or another, most of us will find ourselves gridlocked in a traffic jam. Yep, we’ve all been there; stuck in a soul-sucking endless queue of frosted cars; exhausted and aching after a frantic day of Christmas shopping (oh, the joys!).

According to research from INRIX, people in the UK wasted an average of 30 hours sitting in traffic in 2014 alone!* And our award winning team chiropractors in Southend warn that this could be putting dangerous amounts of pressures on our spines. With the likelihood that you will be at standstill  in your car at some point over the festive period, this is an important time to protect your back when you’re driving.

Here is our advice to you to keep your back safe this Christmas:

1: Make Suitable Adjustments

Before you set off on your journey, adjust your seat to the right position for you. Tilt the back of the seat slightly backwards, allowing your elbows to be in a comfortable and relaxed driving position.

2:  Check Your Steering Position

If your seat is adjusted to the correct position for you, your hands should naturally fall onto the steering wheel – with a slight bend in each of your arms. A steering wheel that is set too high and far away from your body will create added tension in your upper back and shoulders. If the wheel is too low and close to you, your ability to turn it correctly may be reduced, which will put added strain on your wrists and again, your upper back.

3: Choose Appropriate Footwear

If you’re on your way to a party and wearing killer heels, then take them off for driving – there’s plenty of time to look elegant when you leave the car!

You should avoid wearing any kind of high heels or thick-soled shoes as this will mean you will have to over-extend your ankles to place adequate pressure on the pedals. Not only will this make you less likely to perform an emergency stop, but the position will raise your thigh from your seat; reducing that crucial support to your leg. This lack of leg support can create calf tension and cramp and will impair the blood flow during long journeys.

So there you have it; three top tips from our leading Southend chiropractors to ensure that your back doesn’t suffer the stress of traffic jams!

Why not take a few minutes to watch this video that we made to show you how to set up your driving position to protect your back (link to video here).

To book an appointment with our award winning team of dedicated chiropractors, contact Cliffs Chiropractor Southend on 01702 430430.

*www.inrix.com

Experienced Southend Chiropractor Backs Baby Led Weaning

southend chiropractor backs baby led weaningAs a Fellow of the International Chiropractic Paediatric Association and has been a Certified Chiropractic Paediatric Practitioner for fourteen years, Arif Soomro, one of our team of award winning Southend chiropractors is often asked about Baby Led Weaning. One of the reasons that Arif is such an advocate for the process is that it helps jaw and cranial development and is likely to reduce the need for orthodontics treatment as the child grows.

Baby Led Weaning provides babies with the chance to explore a variety of foods by themselves and has been shown to help them adapt to different textures from the very start of the weaning process.

Having spoken to many parents who have tried Baby Led Weaning, most have been extremely passionate about its benefits. Many parents have said that weaning in this way has helped their babies develop a healthy appetite for a variety of food groups and has encouraged them to join in with family mealtimes.

If you are interested in trying Baby Led Weaning, a good way to start is to offer your baby a selection of healthy finger foods that are suitable for his/ her age. Arif suggests starting this when you and your family are eating a meal together as this will be a good chance to introduce your baby to family mealtimes (plus you all get to see your baby start this wonderful new adventure!). Chip-shaped or foods with a natural handle (such as cooked broccoli spears) are perhaps the easiest of foods for your young baby to hold. (Bear in mind that when your baby first tries solid food, he/ she will only be able to clasp foods with his/ her fists. Once your baby has developed the pincer grip, he/ she will be able to pick up small food between the forefinger and the thumb.)

It’s important not to be disheartened if your baby just plays with the food you offer at first; this is a natural part of curiosity and discovery and it certainly doesn’t mean that they are not ready or not suited to Baby Led Weaning. Continue to give your baby breast or formula milk in between mealtimes, then as your baby gradually moves on to solids, you should see a natural decline in the amount of milk feeds required.

Are there any downsides?

Weaning is a messy time and you should be prepared for even more mess (and waste!) when you decide to start Baby Led Weaning. Dietitians recommend that your baby gets used to a variety of food textures early on (even the sloppy ones!) which means you will probably need to add carpet cleaner to your weekly shopping list! Bear in mind that if most of your baby’s food does end up on the floor, his/ her nutrient intake may be restricted.

You may also find that your baby find it difficult to chew certain finger foods such as well-cooked meat, but your baby will still need iron from solid food from six months of age.

Our experienced Southend chiropractor, Arif, recommends that you speak to your GP before starting Baby Led Weaning if any of the following apply to you:

• You or any members of your family have allergies, digestive problems, or food intolerances
• Your baby has special needs, can’t chew very well or has difficulty picking up food
• Your baby was born prematurely

For more advice or to book an appointment with Arif or another member of our award winning and dedicated team of chiropractors, contact Cliffs Chiropractor Southend on 01702 430430.

When Santa Got Stuck Up the Chimney… Or Was It Dad? Christmas Safety Tips From Our Southend Chiropractor.

christmas sceneThere are so many heart-warming things to enjoy at Christmas – family get-togethers, seeing the little ones’ delightful faces when they open their presents and the plates upon plates of delicious food, to name a few. But the festive season can also be a time for some old (and new) aches and pains to show their not-so-friendly faces!

As leading chiropractors in Southend, we often see an increase of patients following the Christmas holidays – and quite often, a large number of the symptoms they tell us about are in some way linked to overdoing it during the festivities. Whether it’s Dad coming in with backache after doing his best Santa impression and lugging around all those heavy boxes (every family’s got a Santa-wannabe!) or Mum who’s spent too many tiresome hours sitting hunched on the floor wrapping presents. One way or another, the demands of creating a perfect Christmas will have taken its toll.

From lifting injuries that have a 25lbs turkey to blame to painful twists that have the fairy lights to answer to; our team of Southend chiropractors have seen them all! With that in mind, here are two top tips for a pain-free Christmas!

1: Avoid Repetitive Strain Injury

This type of injury can happen in the lower back if an action is repeated over a long period of time such as cooking that scrumptious Christmas lunch or wrapping presents. It’s important that you balance the movement of your body so that you do not spend too long doing the same activity. Try spreading out the gift wrapping over a course of a week instead of doing it all in one go and do it on a table not bent over on the floor! Also, perhaps think about cooking some of the Christmas lunch on Christmas Eve.

Not only will breaking down your work load help to prevent back ache, but it will also help to ease your stress and anxiety levels, which are often a contributory factor in many types of muscles strains.

2: Be Mindful of Muscle and Joint Strains

The Christmas period often brings a higher risk of muscles and joint strain as most people overreach and twist more often than usual (those decorations may look impressive, but they certainly have a lot to answer for!). Overreaching, twisting or stretching can cause the muscles, tendons and ligaments to tighten which can lead to muscle spasms, pain and restricted movement. The advice from our Southend chiropractors is to always keep your back straight and your knees bent while lifting. It’s also important not to arch your back when reaching out to grab something. If you can’t reach the item comfortably, then get as close to it as you can and slide it towards you or ask for help.

Remember that the festive season is meant to be enjoyed, so make time to look after you – your health is more important than playing ‘Super Santa’!

To book an appointment with our dedicated team of chiropractors, contact Cliffs Chiropractor Southend on 01702 430430.

Holidays are Coming! Holidays are Coming! Top Tips on Getting Your Little One to Sleep on Christmas Eve from Our Southend Chiropractor

It’s pretty hard to forget that magical feeling we all had as children on Christmas Eve. With every flicker of light that crept through our curtains we’d be peeping through our bedroom windows trying to catch a glimpse of Santa aboard his midnight journey.

With all the wonder and excitement that comes with Christmas Eve, it’s hardly surprising that most parents find it a challenge to get their children to sleep. As leading chiropractors in Southend, we promote a good sleep routine in children for a wide variety of health reasons, but even we haven’t got a sure-fire solution for the night before Christmas. However, there are ways that you can give your excited little ones the best chance of a good night’s rest:

1: Keep Them Busy In the Day

Even if the day before Christmas sees you busy playing “Super Santa”, take time out of your schedule to do some physical activities with your children. This will help them to get sleepy in the night.

2:Don’t Overwhelm Them

Bear in mind that your children are probably already full of excitement and anticipation so try not to overdo the stimuli on Christmas Eve (they have plenty of that to come!). Focus on doing one enjoyable activity at a time, such as reading a story together or watching a Christmas film.

3: Arrange a Time to Open Presents

Not many parents want their children leaping out of bed at 4am to see if “Santa has been”. When you tuck your little ones into bed on Christmas Eve, arrange a time to get up and open presents. Remind your children that the sooner they go to sleep, the sooner (your arranged time) will come. Doing this will also increase the chances of them sticking to your arrangement next year too.

And for all you grown up kids out there who can’t sleep on Christmas Eve? We’ll leave that down to you…

To book an appointment with our dedicated team of chiropractors, contact Cliffs Chiropractor Southend on 01702 430430.

Stay Healthy This Christmas with Top Advice from Our Leading Southend Chiropractor

The festive season is here, our homes are stocked with chocolate, chocolate and… more chocolate(!) and most of us will be slightly overindulging over the Christmas period. It’s the time of year to relax and enjoy and none of us want to worry about our health niggles in the process.

Our leading Southend chiropractor shares two joint-healthy diet tips that you can squeeze in around the naughty treats this Christmas:

1: Get your Antioxidants

Antioxidants massively help to fight free radicals, which can be damaging to your joints.
Here’s where you can get your all-important supply of these super health-boosters:

  • Vitamin C – Grapefruit, oranges papaya, pineapples, raspberries mangoes, raspberries, tomatoes, red peppers asparagus and broccoli
  • Vitamin E – Avocados, sunflower seeds, whole-grain breads and cereals and peanut butter
  • Selenium – Brazil nuts, salmon, oatmeal and brown rice

2: Don’t Forget Your Fatty Acids

Some fatty acids are naturally protective and can help decrease joint swelling and discomfort. The most well-known types of fatty acids are omega-3s which are found in salmon, sardines and herring. You can also get a good source of omega-3 by eating green vegetables, seeds, nuts and whole grains.

Our Southend chiropractors wish you a happy and healthy Christmas!

To book an appointment with our dedicated team of chiropractors, contact Cliffs Chiropractor Southend on 01702 430430.

“For four years Doctors told me there was nothing wrong with me – Cliffs diagnosed me in Twenty minutes!”

Our team of Chiropractors in Southend regularly see patients who have been living with undiagnosed back conditions for months or even years. Quite often, these patients have made numerous trips to their GPS, only to suffer the agonising frustration of being told “there is nothing wrong” or “there is nothing that can be done.”

Alvin had been suffering from back pain for four years and even though he visited his GP on countless occasions and underwent various examinations, he was told over and over again that nothing was wrong. But when Alvin woke up one Sunday morning in such severe pain that he couldn’t get out of bed, he knew that he had to seek a different opinion.

“I had to phone my boss and tell him that I couldn’t physically get up to make it to work,” said Alvin, who works as a builder and a videographer. “My jobs are extremely physical – one job requires me to carry heavy camera equipment and contort into difficult positions to get those great shots and the other sees me building houses.” You can watch Alvin’s video below.

At Cliffs Chiropractic in Southend, we pride ourselves on our diagnostic skills and after just twenty minutes of examining Alvin, we were able to confirm that he was in fact suffering from a painful bulged disc in his spine. Just like most of our patients who have previously been left undiagnosed, Alvin was instantly relieved to discover the true cause of his restricting back problems.
Now, a month after starting appropriate treatment, Alvin is a different person to the worried, strained and frustrated young man who came to us in agonising pain.

He’s feeling physically great, is back working his two busy jobs and is more upbeat than ever!

When asked what advice he would give to other patients suffering from back pain, Alvin told us this; “If you’re experiencing problems with your back and your Doctor has told you that there’s nothing wrong or there is nothing they can do to help you, go and see a chiropractor! For four years, I was told there was nothing wrong with me and just given painkillers to help me along. Now, after just one month of seeing a chiropractor, I am feeling a lot more alive!”

It’s success stories like Alvin’s that inspire us to keep doing what we’re doing. Seeing a patient smile again is the biggest reward we could ever wish for.

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!

spicy mulled wineAh, that distinctive festive aroma is starting to fill the air… that sweet, spicy scent that conjures up everything that is Christmas and creates that special warm and fuzzy feeling in the depth of our bellies.

What produces that unique Christmas aroma and how can you use these flavours to recreate a famous festive tipple?

The Smells of Christmas

The smell of Christmas today is one of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger – four sweet aromatic spices that instantly conjure up Christmas, and are used in a lot of our cooking over the festive period.

Spices have always cast a spell on our imaginations; conjuring up exotic images of colourful, vibrant distant lands.

The first expeditions for spices in ancient times were to ensure that these coveted commodities would always be in supply. Legend has it that in 1000 BC, the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon in Jerusalem to offer him “120 measures of gold, many spices, and precious stones.” A cupful of cardamom was worth a poor man’s yearly wages, and slaves were bought and sold for a few handfuls of peppercorns.

The Arabs were the first to introduce spices to Europe. Knowing that they controlled a commodity in high demand, they kept their sources a secret and made up amazing tales of the dangers involved in obtaining them.

spice mixIn medieval Europe, soldiers returning from the Crusades loaded up their bags with these fragrant foodstuffs; prompting a comeback in the powerful courts of Europe. It was mainly from the Orient, overland via Arabia, the Red Sea, the ports of Venice and Genoa that spices reached Britain. Venetian merchants, strategically located midway between the Levant and Western Europe, became the great middlemen of the spice trade.

Certain spices were worth so much that one of them even became currency: pepper. Forerunners of sugared almonds, some spices were covered in honey in order to disguise them as candy. Their culinary and medicinal uses overlapped, and grocers and apothecaries often worked in the same companies. Besides traditional black pepper, some of the other prized spices of the era were long pepper from Sumatra, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

It was Vasco Da Gama discovering India in 1498 that led to the downfall of the Arabian/Venetian spice monopoly. The Portuguese held onto it for a century to lose it to the Dutch in the 1600’s.

During this period, British cooking was still heavy with ginger, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. The food of Italy, Portugal, France, Holland and Germany was similarly spiced and scented.

It was not until towards the middle of the seventeenth century that the British East India Company held a monopoly on all trade with India and that the British began developing it’s cooking along the lines that we recognise today. Spices and sugar were readily available and therefore became relatively cheap and available to the everyday cook.

Cinnamon

cinnamon   Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of evergreen trees from the bay family.
It has a complex, fragrant and sweet citrus flavour. Cinnamon’s perfumed aroma is unique but has hints of clove, nutmeg and sandalwood. Cinnamon is commonly used in sweet baking as well as in savoury foods such as curries.

As a medicinal herb, it is antibacterial, antiviral, a circulatory stimulant, an antispasmodic and a digestive. It is used to enhance digestion and given to people for indigestion, nausea, colic and wind. It is also effective in helping to treat gastro-enteritis. More recently it has been found to enhance the effects of insulin; helping to prevent glucose intolerance that can pre-dispose to diabetes. So the perfect spice to add to all those Christmas cakes and mince pies!

Cloves

clovesCloves are the dried, unopened flower buds from an evergreen tropical tree, Syzygiumaromaticum. The clove tree is originally a native of the eastern Indonesian islands, called the Moluccas.
The flavour is strongly pungent, while the aroma is somewhat peppery.

Cloves can be used both internally and externally. Internally they can soothe and relax the inner lining of the intestines, aiding in digestion and calming an upset stomach. They can help the esophagus to produce more phlegm and act as an expectorant, making coughs less severe and more productive.

Cloves have also been shown to have analgesic properties. The old wives tale of applying clove oil for toothache is true. A whole clove applied directly to the gum in problem areas or a drop of clove oil rubbed into the gum can help to provide relief from pain.

When the oil is applied topically, it can relieve pain from rheumatism, arthritis, and other inflammation-based conditions.

Nutmeg

nutmegNutmeg spice comes from the nutmeg tree, Myristicafragrans, which was originally native only to the Moluccas Islands in Indonesia.

Nutmeg trees are a tropical evergreen tree that grow some 7-10 meters high and have shiny dark green leaves.

The medicinal use of nutmeg is due to its essential oil, Myristicinwhich, which is used as a stimulant to the intestinal tract, aiding flatulence, and alleviating nausea and vomiting. It is regularly used in mixtures of oils to relieve pain and inflammation and also has antibacterial properties.

However the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime classes nutmeg as a narcotic. It has a hallucinogenic effect and can induce stupor. The evidence is mainly anecdotal but is considered so frequent as to be overwhelming, “Excessive doses of nutmeg have a narcotic effect; symptoms of delirium and epileptic convulsions appear after 1-6 hours.”

We are talking of dosages being in the region of 1-2 whole nutmegs per person for any harmful effect but maybe it brings a hint of danger to eating our Christmas cake and puddings

Fancy creating your very own home-made mulled wine this Christmas?

Here’s the secret recipe:

Spicy Mulled Wine

mulled wineIngredients
• 2 oranges
• Peel of 1 lemon
• Peel of 1 lime
• 250g demerara sugar
• 12 whole cloves
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 3 fresh bay leaves
• 6 cardamom pods
• 1 whole nutmeg
• 1 whole vanilla pod, halved
• 2 bottles of red wine
• 120ml Sloe Gin (optional)

Method

1. Peel large sections of peel from your oranges, lemon and lime using a peeler. Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the pieces of peel and squeeze in the juice from the oranges.

2. Add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cardamom pods and about 1/2 grated of nutmeg. Put in the halved vanilla pod and stir in enough red wine to cover the sugar. Let this simmer so that the sugar has dissolved into the red wine and then bring to the boil. Keep on the boil for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until you have a thick syrup. This infuses the spices and the wine to give a base syrup.

3. When the syrup is ready, turn the heat down to low and add both bottles of wine. Gently heat the wine and after around 5 minutes, when it’s warm, add the sloe gin, ladle it into glasses and serve.

Delicious!