School Kids : Protect Their Back Health

back care advice for children from cliffschiropractorsouthendWith nearly 80% of people experiencing back pain at some point during their lives, it’s important that children look after their spines from a young age.

Our Southend chiropractor, who has extensive experience in treating children, shares simple tips on preventing childhood back pain…

1:Keep Your Children Active

Staying active helps to keep children a healthy weight and builds those all-important spine-supporting muscles. Sitting in class for long periods of time can put excessive pressure on a child’s spine which can put them at risk of developing back pain. It’s a good idea to suggest that your child performs some simple stretching and strengthening exercises in between classes. The Double Arm Doorway Stretch is a fun and effective exercise that your child can take in turns to do with their classmates. Here’s how it works:

Your child stands in a doorway and braces their hands on each side of the frame. Keeping their hands and arms at shoulder level, they engage their stomach muscles and straighten their back. Next they take one step forward and lean their upper body so that they feel a stretch inside their chest and shoulder muscles.

If your child feels embarrassed or self conscious, they can even do this exercise as they are chatting to their friends and no one will even notice they are doing anything more than leaning on a door!

2: Buy the Right Backpack

Although it may be the “cool” thing to do, wearing a back pack with one strap puts excessive pressure on one shoulder instead of distributing the load evenly across the two. Make sure your child wears their backpack across two shoulders and the straps are tight enough for the bag to fit closely to the body. Your child’s back pack should rest evenly on the middle of their back and not sag down.

3: Practice Good Posture

Sitting in class for long periods of time can cause many kids to slouch, which again, puts an excessive amount of pressure on the spine. Teach your child about the health benefits of proper posture and get them into the habit of sitting in the correct position. While in class, your child’s feet should be planted on the ground with their back straight. Rounding the spine or slouching is a common issue than often leads to long-term back pain.

By working together, we can protect the next generation’s spine health.

How a Miserable Baby Became an Angel

The Echo, 29.3Newborn babies, cry. But the instincts of this tired and frazzled mum told her that her baby’s crying wasn’t normal. Fortunately she found Cliffs and with Arif’s help things changed for baby Jack and mum Andrea.

You may have read this story in the Echo …

Click here to read baby Jack and mum Andrea’s story in the Echo.

Andrea Richardson, from Thorpe Bay, was 28 years old when she gave birth to her first son Jack. It was October 2014 and both she and her husband were looking forward to welcoming their new baby into their lives. Her pregnancy had been problem-free apart from some concerns over his growth rate which had to be monitored, so they were ill-prepared for what happened next. Jack was positioned in such a way that a normal delivery was no longer an option but he was already in the birth canal and had to be manoeuvred back for the emergency Caesarean. The result that Jack was born with a black eye and an ability to cry for England.

Jack couldn’t settle, wouldn’t sleep and just cried all day and all night long. The only way he could be soothed was if he was propped upright. So for 10 weeks Andrea sat upright to help Jack get some respite, but she was shattered, needed sleep to recover from the operation and was suffering from post-natal depression. “As a first-time mum you do feel that everything’s your fault. But I knew it wasn’t normal for a baby to cry like this; I believed there had to be an underlying reason. He was very unhappy and I felt powerless to do anything.”  But Andrea is a resourceful woman and decided to take Jack to a baby massage class and see if that might help him stop crying. It didn’t. She was asked to leave the session as Jack’s constant crying was disrupting the class! The next stop was her GP, but she took the precaution of filming Jack to demonstrate how relentless his crying was.  After viewing the video, the advice was almost as disappointing as it was patronising. “He told me that I was a nervous new mum and a crying baby is natural. Basically, he told me to ‘get over it’. But I couldn’t get over it. My son deserved to enjoy life, to be calm and happy.”

Andrea became a bit of a recluse. She couldn’t take Jack anywhere because of his crying, not even in the car as he would scream as soon as he was in the car seat and the pram was no better; she couldn’t connect with other mums either as they weren’t experiencing anything like this with their babies. “I was feeling very isolated, but I was determined to help Jack, and that’s when I went online and entered ‘birth trauma’ in the search bar. Arif Soomro of Cliffs Chiropractic Clinic, in Westcliff-on-Sea, came up straight away and I made an appointment to see him there and then.

Arif Soomro is the co-founder of Cliffs, and is a specialist in using craniopathy to treat babies and young children. Craniopathy is a form of gentle manipulation that repairs the distortions to the delicate plates in the skull that can cause discomfort and pain. These distortions are usually, but not exclusively, caused by the pressure exerted on the skull during childbirth. Its primary aim is to balance the tension in the membranes and fascia within the skull, restoring normal neurological, blood and cerebro-spinal fluid flow and to the nervous system.

“Jack was 10 weeks old when we saw Arif for the first time. He asked me lots of questions, examined Jack, but didn’t treat him. On the second visit, he told me what needed to be done to help Jack, we agreed the treatment schedule and that’s the day my life turned around.”

“Jack presented with a common cranial distortion known as ‘inferior vertical strain’” said Arif. “This appears as a narrowing of the forehead, a high palate and flattened rear skull. It can also lead to altered spinal curves, flat feet and toes that point inwards. Because of the high palate the tongue cannot easily rest in the roof of the mouth and babies can become nasal breathers with poor dental alignment and grow up with poor sagging posture. When treating Jack I gently directed pressure at various points upon the skull and in his mouth, in cycle with his breathing, to encourage balancing spinal motion. We cannot always know the pain a baby feels but it is reasonable to assume they do feel discomfort and distress. My objective is a simple one: to ‘reset any faults’ I detect with minimum intervention, so that the body’s natural ability to regulate and heal itself returns.”

Just before Andrea left the clinic Arif told her that Jack might feel a little sleepy. Andrea was hoping against hope he was right. “When I got home Jack slept for seven hours straight and he did that for the next three nights in a row. I couldn’t believe it.”

After six weeks he was like a new baby – happy, calm, sleeping well and rarely grizzly. Jack’s now 16 months old and his trademark look is a big smile.

Let’s Squeeze, Sway and Cuppa

A healthy back will support you every day but, if you sit or stand for hours at a time, the chances are your back needs support from you. If you do nothing else, do these three things …

If you spend hours working at your desk all day, you may very well be complaining of a stiff neck, aching shoulders or a bad back. If any of this sounds familiar, please take a look at these three simple exercises. They’re really easy to do, especially in the confines of an office. If you can make this part of your daily routine, you’ll be alleviating all those symptoms associated with lack of movement while improving your overall sense of wellbeing at the same time.

The Squeeze

The Sway

The Cuppa

You can find three more exercises you can add to your routine on our Back to Business page.

So there’s no time like the present – let’s Squeeze, Sway and Cuppa our way to better back health:)

Back to Business is Launched at London Southend Airport

Echo_NewsOur exciting B2B (Back to Business) campaign has officially begun. We were invited to London Southend Airport to launch the campaign with a powerful takeoff. B2B is our campaign for bringing simple exercises to those desk bound at work, to ease and help prevent back pain.

With nearly 10 million working days being lost to back pain in 2014 and over a billion pounds lost in work productivity, we’re on a mission to fight the rising surge of work-related back issues.

B2B is a campaign with a difference

B2B involves us going into the workplace and giving an introductory talk and demonstration to staff. We follow this up with posters to be put up in the workplace and access to videos of the exercises for staff to refer to.

B2B consists of six simple movements that any desk worker can do to reduce stiffness, prevent back pain, improve posture and enhance energy levels. And what’s more, these short exercises take hardly any time to perform and they’re discreet (nobody wants to be the office’s “performing seal”, after all!).

We’re also working hard behind the scenes developing an exercise programme aimed at alleviating back problems associated with manual handling . Watch this space …

B2B Launches at London Southend Airport

BAck to Business at Cliffs Chiropractor SouthendWe were invited to launch our B2B campaign at London Southend Airport. London Southend Airport is owned by Stobart Group a company well known for its inclusive policies and all for one, one for all attitude.

Jon Horne, the Chief Operating Office,  suffers from back pain himself and was eager for his staff to be involved. Jon said “We can all make a difference to our own health and wellbeing; the practical steps set out in Back to Business can be done quickly and easily”.

The session was held by Arif, who demonstrated just how easy and effective the B2B exercises are and how these exercises should be done in the close confines of an office, and importantly, an air traffic control tower. Arif soon had Mr Horne and members of staff, performing the exercises and having lots of fun in the process!

A selected member of staff will become a B2B ambassador, receiving additional training from Cliffs, to help staff stick to the regime and to keep it inspiring and fresh.

So why is there such a need for an innovative campaign such as B2B?

At our clinBAck to Business campaign at Cliffs Chiropractor Southendics alone, we are treating more and more back conditions than ever before and this has nothing to do with an ageing population as patients are getting younger and younger. This is a direct result of our more sedentary lifestyles, our near-addiction to mobile devices, which is putting additional strain on the spine as we bend our necks to send and receive texts and emails and poor posture.

National statistics are even more alarming. The National Back Pain Survey conducted in October 2014 revealed that over 4 million working days were lost by workers aged 50-64 that year and workers aged 25-34 lost a whopping 1.89 million days due to back pain. Those in the 35-49 bracket took 3.86 million days off for back-related issues. The survey also exposed the heavy rise in back-related work absence; 7.7 million working days were lost in 2013 compared with 9.96 million in 2014.

Watch Arif explain what our B2B campaign is all about.

You can find out more about our B2B campaign here.

Look after your spine’s future and it will look after yours.

One Small Change That Could Save Your Back Health

According to our experienced chiropractor in Southend, making an effort to sit less and stand more may bring significant benefits to your back health.

When you sit, the discs in your lower back are loaded three times more than when standing. With this in mind, it’s hardly surprising that frequently sitting for long periods of time can cause or worsen a painful back issue.

But with many people’s jobs requiring them to sit for hours on end, how can you make this daily change to help protect your back?

“It’s as simple as getting up to stretch and walk around every 20 – 30 minutes”, says Arif, our leading chiropractor.

Get up and pace while you’re talking in the office, walk for ten minutes on your lunch break or take the stairs instead of the lift.

A healthy spine requires movement so do what you can to implement this one small change into your daily routine. Your back will thank you for it!

We’ve produced a series of videos with six simple exercises you can do every day to keep your back healthy. Why not start with the Squeeze, the Sway and the Cuppa.


Is Your Mobile to Blame for Your Neck Pain?

By now most of us will have heard of “text neck” – a modern day condition where the cervical spine is affected by excessive mobile phone use. But what level of damage are our “heads down generation” actually risking?

The adult human head typically weighs between 10 and 12 lb and this weight equates to far greater volumes as the head tilts forward. The muscles, ligaments and tendons are all put under pressure when holding the head at a forwards angle, which explains why excessive mobile phone use is largely responsible for many neck complaints.

To highlight the reality of this…

A head that is tilted 15 degrees forward may equate to 27 lbs and a head that is tilted 30 degrees forward may put the same strain on the neck as a 40lb head!

Maybe the term “get your head straight” is more apt than ever…

Back Pain: The Benefits of Positive Thinking

back pain advice from Cliffs Chiropractor SouthendDealing with chronic back pain can bring a sense of disruption to everyday life – the things that were once easy and enjoyable may now seem daunting or even impossible. For many people living with chronic pain – especially those who have been suffering with a painful condition for a long time – these changes can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety and in some cases, even depression.

Our  Southend chiropractor regularly treats patients suffering from chronic pain and advises that it’s important for both you and your family to recognise  negative feelings and take action.

Here our chiropractor shares some effective tips on improving your emotional wellbeing when you’re suffering with chronic back pain:

1: Take Each Day as It Comes

Remember that your condition will bring you good days and bad days. If this is a bad day for you, focus on the good times and positive feelings. Remember the happy and pain-free experiences you’ve had in the past and imagine more of the same in the future.

2: Use Your Support Network

Everyone needs support at some point or another during their lives and chronic pain patients cope better with the help of both family and healthcare professionals. Find and use as many tools as you can to improve your situation and accept the help that is offered.  The stronger support network you have the better you will be able to manage your condition.

3: Accept the Changes

It can be difficult for many patients to accept their changing life but doing so is critical to how you deal with your condition. Instead of wishing things were different, do everything you can to make the best of your situation. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, getting enough sleep, stopping smoking, exercise, and eating a healthy diet will go a long way to improving your health and wellbeing.

4: Expect Success

Chronic back pain does not define who you are and it shouldn’t change what you get out of life.  Learn to expect success as you undertake your daily activities and remember your self-worth. You are needed for a lot more than what your back can provide, so focus on the things you can do with ease and enjoyment.

Having a strong purpose will not only make you feel happier but will keep you motivated through your chronic pain treatment. The more you do, the more you’ll want to do and the happier you feel, the happier you’ll want to be.


How Children Can Benefit from Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractor Arif Soomro at Cliffs is renowned in Southend for the safe, gentle and effective treatment of babies and children.

He has developed as a specialist in the chiropractic treatment of pregnant ladies and children since 1999 and is a Fellow of the International Chiropractic Paediatric Association.

Over the years he has continued to develop his knowledge, learning from the best in the fields of Sacro-Occipital Technique, advanced Craniopathy for babies, children and adults, paediatric chiropractic and cranial chiropractic (similar to cranial osteopathy).

Arif now has a large practice treating many expectant mothers, babies and children, many who travel many miles to receive his specialised experience, knowledge and care. The whole practice can be full of pregnant ladies, prams and small children and the lovely receptionists often multi-task with arms full of babies.

He believes in the humanistic approach to pregnancy and birth. The human body has it’s own innate wisdom and the female process of pregnancy and birth are generally healthy and safe. A birth team should create a loving, relaxed, nurturing environment for the birth; this power will help to deliver your baby without fear, feeling in control. To reduce the risk of birth trauma and problems such as crying babies we need to take responsibility for the outcome of birth.

Chiropractic treatment of the pregnant mum, babies and children is centred on a holistic approach, thoroughly examining the spine, pelvis, cranium as well as the muscular and nervous systems.

Arif believes that  analysis and specific correction to the pregnant female and paediatric spine and cranium may have far reaching impact on whole body with health benefits that can effect an individual for life.

While Arif and the team at Cliffs are experienced in assisting the treatment of many childhood conditions, you should always visit your medical practitioner if your child develops new symptoms or their existing condition worsens.