Help Your Kids Prevent Back Pain

back care advice for children from our southend chiropractor We tend to associate back pain with age, but the worrying truth is more and more young people are experiencing back problems.  So what can you do to protect the health of your children’s spines and to minimise their risk of developing back pain as they grow older.

Here our Southend chiropractor has two surprising tips that will help you look after your kids’ spines. (The second one will shock you!)

1: Choose the Right Footwear

Sure, kids can be particular about what they wear, but hang fire before you pick up the latest pair of Batman trainers or whatever your children are into at the moment.

When buying trainers, make sure you choose the type that supports the bones of your children’s’ feet. Certain types of trainers tend to be too soft which can lead to flat feet and back pain. Some trainers also tend to quickly wear out and loose shock absorption, so change them every six months if your children wear trainers on a regular basis.

Lace-up shoes are the best choice for protecting your children against back pain. This is because they tend to “hug” the feet and keep them firmly in place. Shoes with wide straps are also effective at keeping your children’s feet snug.

2: Turn Your Children Upside Down

This is probably going to sound quite strange to most of you, but holding your children upside down by their calves can be really good for protecting the health of their spines. Yes, we are being serious!

This exercise (which your children will find great fun, by the way) is not only effective in creating space between each vertebrae, but it can also unlock stiff joints and relieve tight muscles.

Obviously, you should only ever carry out this exercise in a safe place. Always place a soft mat beneath your child. DO NOT RISK INJURY IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM.

Ask your child to kneel on all fours, and then pick them up steadily by their calves. Never lift a child by their arms or their feet as you could dislocate their shoulders or ankles.

Most chiropractors recommend holding your child in this position for a few minutes at least three times a week for toddlers and children up to 10. But of course, be careful not to strain your own back! If your child is too heavy, don’t do the exercise!

We regularly treat children here at Cliffs Chiropractic clinic. For specific advice on your child or on the tips provided in this article, get in touch. We’ll be happy to help.

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!

Working Together to Protect the Health of Our Children

back care advice for childrenThere used to be an age when getting the kids to spend time indoors would be as difficult as trying take a new puppy away from a toy. Whatever the weather, whatever the day, children would want to spend their free time playing outdoors in the fresh air –climbing trees and getting grazed knees, making dens from battered planks of wood, cycling, skating or just good old fashioned walking…

And then came along the internet.

No one can deny the amazing educational benefits that the internet brings for today’s children, but it can pose a danger to their physical health.

Here at our chiropractic clinic in Southend, we treat many children for back and neck pain (we’ve all heard of “text neck”!) and it’s impossible to ignore that the growing amount of time that youngsters spend online sometimes plays a major role in these often modern age aches and pains.

While limited and monitored internet usage can be advantageous for certain areas your child’s life, it’s important (now more than ever) that physical activity plays a major role in their free time.

Our award winning Southend chiropractor provides the following top tips to keep your child happy and healthy (without a single mention of the internet!):

1: Help them to discover a fun activity. The more your child enjoys an activity, the more likely they will be to stick at it. Talk to your child about how important physical activity is and play and active part in helping them to start something they’re interested in.

2: Remember to choose an activity that is developmentally appropriate and respect your child’s views if they think something is too young/ old for them or if they naturally grow out of something. For example, a child who starts ballet lessons at the age of 4 may not want to continue with that particular activity when they’re 12.

3: Ensure that you always plan ahead and make time for your children to exercise.

4: Be proactive in the toys that you buy by selecting ones that promote physical exercise. There are always plenty of new inventions on the market for older children (how much fun do Segways look?) and toddlers and younger children should always have easy access to balls, ride alongs and other active toys.

5: Be active yourself. If your child sees you regularly enjoying sports and physical activities then they are likely to follow in your footsteps. On the flip side, if your child sees you spending most of your downtime on your Smartphone, tablet or laptop then they will assume that is the ‘norm’.

6: Play with your child and plan family days out/ activities together. Why not arrange a family walk every Sunday morning where no technology is allowed? Not only will this benefit your child’s health and fitness but it will encourage you to communicate as a family (something that is also often hampered by too much internet usage).

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

Protect Your Child’s Back. Advice on Backpacks From A Leading Southend Chiropractor

back care advice for children from cliffs chiropractor southendAs a Certified Chiropractic Paediatric Practitioner, Arif, one of our experienced team of Southend chiropractors, regularly treats children and teenagers that are suffering from back conditions. While the causes of adult back pain significantly vary, back pain in children is often the result of heavy backpacks being worn incorrectly. And it’s ironic really; as backpacks worn the correct way are actually much safer than other types of bags.

Most backpacks include many compartments that help children carry their books and papers to school and back. Unlike shoulder bags, backpacks allow the strongest muscles in the body (the back and abdominal muscles) to support the weight that they’re carrying around. Children who wear their backpacks correctly allow the weight to be evenly distributed across their body; making neck and shoulder injuries far less likely.

But according to Arif, a leading chiropractor in Southend, children are risking strained muscles and joints if their backpacks are too heavy (more than 15% of their body weight) or they are carrying them in the wrong way.

So what is the wrong way to carry a back pack and is your child doing it?

If your child’s backpack is too heavy, the force of the weight will start to pull your child backwards. To compensate, your child is likely to bend forwards at the hips or arch their back. As a result, their spine will start to unnaturally compress, which can cause back, neck and shoulder pain.

If your child wears their backpack on one shoulder (which many children do), they may start to lean to one side to offset the additional weight. Again this can cause both upper and lower back pain as well as strain on the neck and shoulders.

Arif also warns that backpacks with tight, narrow straps may dig into the shoulders and have a negative impact on circulation and nerves. This can contribute to numbness, tingling and weakness in the hands and arms.

So the next time your child head off to school, make sure you’ve checked the following beforehand:

  1. Your child is wearing the backpack on both shoulders
  2. The straps are thick, soft and are not digging into the shoulder blades
  3. The backpack does not weight more than 15% of your child’s body weight.

Small changes can make a big difference to your child’s spinal health.

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