Your Spine Through Your Lifetime

back care advice from our chiropractor leigh on seaEver wondered why back pain sometimes occurs in later life? Understanding the normal aging process of the spine is fundamental to keeping it strong and healthy. For many people, discovering how much the spine goes through during our lifespan can create a new found respect for just how precious it is!

Here our Southend chiropractor highlights the typical ways in which our spines change as we age:

As we age our bones tend to become less dense, making them weaker and more susceptible to breaks. This reduction in bone density is partly due to the fact that older bones contain less calcium (The amount of calcium decreases because the body absorbs less calcium from foods). Another factor is that vitamin D levels – which facilitate the way the body uses calcium – also slightly decreases. Typically, certain bones become weaker than others with the most affected being the spine, the ends of the thigh bones and the ends of the arm bones.

In women, loss of bone density can often speed up following the menopause. This is due to a reduction in the amount of estrogen being produced, which helps to prevent too much bone from being broken down during the body’s normal process of forming, breaking down, and re-forming bone.

Ever wondered why people get shorter as they get older? As we age, the spine’s vertebrae become less dense and the cushions of tissue (discs) between them lose fluid and become thinner, making the spine shorter.

Cartilage that lines the joints also tends to thin, usually because of the wear and tear of years of movement. In older people, the surfaces of a joint may not slide over each other as well as they used to, and the joint may be slightly more prone to injury. Damage to the cartilage as a result of lifelong use of joints or repeated injury can lead to osteoarthritis, (one of the most common disorders of later life).

Ligaments change too, usually becoming less elastic which can make joints feel stiff or tight. These tissues also tend to weaken as we age, hence why older people are often less flexible than younger generations.

The more you do to look after your spine in your younger years, the better able it will be to cope with the normal aging process.

At Cliffs, our chiropractors help people of all ages maintain a healthy spine. Our patients come to our award winning clinic from Southend and surrounding local areas including Leigh on Sea, Rayleigh, Hockley, Canvey Island and Hadleigh.


Did You Catch Arif on Radio Essex on Thursday Morning?

arif soomro chiropractor southendArif was interviewed by Radio Essex on Thursday morning about ‘Text Neck’.

This new phenomenon is caused by gadget addicts looking down at their phones and tablets for long periods which results in postural changes that can lead to serious problems.

However, if you are at risk of suffering the consequence of ‘Text Neck’ all is not lost as Arif reveals how you can ease the pain.

text neck advice from cliffs chiropractor southendThe extra capability for playing games and browsing the internet on smartphones means that they are tending to be used for longer periods. And unlike laptops, tablet are often placed flat on the lap, meaning users crane their neck over to view the screen.

The average human head weighs between 10lb and 12lb and flexing the neck at an angle makes it harder to support, raising the odds of pain and stiffness which can radiate down the shoulders, arms and wrists. Headaches and even arthritis can develop.

Arif says, “‘Text Neck’ can lead to arthritic degeneration if left untreated and anyone experiencing pain should be checked. Some people work on a computer, play on their mobile phones on their breaks, drive home and work on their computer and their phone again in the evening and that’s really unhealthy. We are not built to be sitting down hunched over screens. However, that is exactly what people are doing with their necks. If people continue to put their necks into these positions, the body will gradually adapt to the stresses.  Because the head and neck move forwards, it will eventually lead to a reversal of the natural curve of the neck.

Postural changes will then occur, which can lead to serious problems.”

text neck advice from cliffs chiropractor southendArif reveals how to ease texting pain.

1) Take regular breaks from texting

2) Look straight ahead every few minutes; pull the chin back into the neck and hold that position for a few seconds.

3) Rotate your shoulders while keeping your arms by your sides

4) Sit up straight every time you text

5) Put the phone a little higher when texting.



How Many Chiropractors Does It Take To Make A Holiday?

Group PhotoAnswer: You can never have too many Chiropractors!

Melanie and Arif spent a great week in Dubrovnik with family and friends two of whom are chiropractor brother and sister. They are carrying on the family tradition as their father was a chiropractor and now two of their daughters are at chiropractic college.

Arif says, “We have all known each other for many years since before we had children and love catching up. We spend most of the week talking chiropractic, healthcare and where are we going for the next meal. One or two of us are also partial to an occasional glass of wine!” (Answers on a postcard to guess who!)

Arif also took his Cliffs Chiropractic Clinic T-shirt to the Croatian Coast:) Yes, Cliffs Chiropractic gets everywhere!

This year at least one of us was treated every day from acupuncture to rid the children of their verrucaes (yes it works and quickly!) to chiropractic for whiplash and herbal advice for detoxification.



Our Scary Car Accident Made Us Think …

car accidentAfter a car accident in a taxi on our way to Gatwick Airport it made us think – do you know what you should do to help yourself following a car accident?

Fortunately we were all OK and managed to make our flight!

The protocol after our accident was ice, chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture for all. It just goes to show even chiropractors are not immune from injury.

If you have an RTA here are the immediate recommendations:

1- Call your Chiro immediately if possible for phone advice.

2- If you have no contra indications, take an anti-inflammatory tablet such as Ibuprofen and take some arnica 30C homeopathic remedy.

3- Use ice on the affected area 15/15/15 minutes on/off/on.

4- Keep your nose and toes pointing the same way and tuck your chin in slightly.

5- Rest and recover, don’t try and carry on as normal. Have a cup of chamomile tea and use some Bach rescue remedy.

6– Make an emergency appointment as soon as possible no matter how you feel; chiropractors are best placed to assess you.



After A Decade of Daily Pain Herbal Remedy Saved Me

Annabel Crow recently shared with The Echo how a visit to Melanie changed her life. Afer a decade of daily pain and misdiagnosis, she hoped she would finally find the light at the end of the tunnel into finding respite from her ongoing agony.

Annabel’s mother Laura, a patient at Cliffs,  suggested she should visit Melanie. Annabel was happy to go into her appointment with an open mind. After intensive questioning by Melanie to delve into Annabel’s medical history, she was told that she had a ‘leaky gut’.

The gut is sometimes called the ‘second brain’ and the gateway to health.

Melanie explained, ““A healthy gut should have the right proportion of good bacteria which lines and protects the digestive tract from damage and plays an important role in maintaining the immune system.”

“Lifestyle, stress, infections, allergies, alcohol and a poor diet will all affect the level of good bacteria, leaving room for harmful bacteria to proliferate. Then there is a decreased ability to absorb the nutrients from food and an increasing number of allergies develop which lead to ‘always feeling rubbish’, as in Annabel’s case.”

She prescribed Annabel a mixture of herbs and nutrients, all in tablet form, that she would need to take initially to get her gut back on track. At each meeting Melanie would adjust the medication according to how Annabel was responding.

Annabel concludes the interview by saying. “All I can say is that I’ve had 10 years of stomach pain, but now I feel better, and calmer.”

“I even enjoy going out for a meal, just as I did on my honeymoon, which may seem quite minor to some, but to me it’s a triumph!”

You can read the full article here: The Echo: After A Decade of Daily Pain Herbal Remedy Saved Me

Effective exercises for lower back pain

If you suffer from lower back pain, strengthening your back and supporting muscles can help.

Here our Cliffs chiropractor shares two effective exercises that could help to manage your back condition:

Knee to Chest Stretch

1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Next, use both hands to pull up one knee and press it to your chest. Then tighten your abdominals and press your spine to the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds.

2: Return to the starting position and repeat the action with the opposite leg

3:  Return to the starting position and repeat the action with both legs at the same time.

Repeat each stretch two to three times – once in the morning and once at night.

Lower Back Rotational Stretch

1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. With your shoulders firmly on the floor, roll your bent knees to one side and hold the position for five to 10 seconds.

2: Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise on the opposite side.

Again, repeat each stretch two to three times – once in the morning and once at night.

Important Note: These exercises are designed to help moderate lower back pain. If your back pain is a result of an injury or you suffer with any medical condition, contact your chiropractor or doctor before starting any new form of exercise. If symptoms develop/ worsen during the exercises, stop immediately and contact your healthcare provider for advice.

Kids: Is Homework Harming Their Backs?

back care advice for children from our chiropractor in southendThe new school term will soon be here and our daily routines (and sanity levels) can return to what they were before all chaos broke loose for 6 weeks.

But as we send our children through the gates for another year of learning, we may have another issue to fret over. (And yes; we mean on top of all the other never-ending worries that come with being a parent.)

We’re talking about homework and our kids’ spines.

While overloaded bag packs are regularly scrutinised under the media spotlight, no one ever seems to mention the way in which our children actually work with the contents. According to our Southend chiropractor, many children adopt poor posture while studying or doing their homework, which holds the very real risk of leading to long-term back problems.

Here our experienced chiropractor shares effective and little known tips on ensuring your children protect their spines at homework time:

Head Tilt

Ensure that your children do not bend their heads down to read. Just like “Text Neck”, regularly lowering the head to read can cause excessive strain on the cervical spine.


Help your children to reduce the risk of shoulder strain by checking that their elbows are not raised awkwardly as they type. Ideally, your children’s elbows should be rested on side rests or side arms so that the weight of the arms is off the shoulders.

Lumbar support

Make sure your children’s lower spines are supported by investing in a good quality study chair.


Check that your children are not typing with their forearm below their armrests. If your children work from an armchair, place a pillow or attaché beneath their laptop/ tablet. This will allow them to use their armrests and type with level forearms


Ensure that your children stay hydrated during homework sessions. Keeping the body hydrated is an effective inflammation fighter, so keep the H20 coming in regularly supplies!


Your children should take breaks away from their workstation/ computer around every 20 minutes. Make sure your children get up, stretch and walk around during their breaks – remaining at their desks checking their social media updates will have the same impact on their spines if they were to study without a break!

You can have a positive impact on your children’s back health by educating them on these simple changes. Believe us; they’ll thank you for it in later life.

National Playday: Keep them Healthy the Fun way!

As National Playday kicks off on the 3rd August, community events across the country will see children and their families getting together to enjoy the wonderful world of play.

From small-scale community activities to national outdoor events, family members of all ages can get involved in the celebration of children’s rights to play. And here at our Southend chiropractic clinic, we think it’s a fantastic idea!

Keeping your kids active though activities and play is a great way to protect their back health – and they’ll have plenty of fun in the process too!

National Playday usually takes place on the first Wednesday in August.

You can find out more about the importance of play and this year’s national Playday by visiting

Get involved – you’ll have fun and you’ll be helping to keep your kids healthy at the same time!