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.

Springtime Ideas To Supercharge Your Spine Health!

back care advice from our southend chiropractorSpring is here and that means out with the old and in with the new! With new life emerging all around us, there is no better time of year to sparkle your spine with health and vitality.

Here are some inspirational ideas from our Southend chiropractor to boost your spine health this season:

Make Exercise a Way of Life

The easiest and most effective way to exercise is to make it part of your lifestyle. Any good chiropractor will tell you that exercise and a healthy spine come hand in hand. Even if you’re currently in pain, regular exercise will almost certainly help in the rehabilitation of your injured spine.

A simple exercise program that focuses on stretching and strengthening the back, hamstrings, and abdominal muscles can significantly help in getting those vital nutrients into your spinal discs and soft tissues. This will help to speed up your healing process and keep your spine healthy.


Meditation can be a very effective way to fight chronic back pain. And the activity is extremely simple to carry out! All you need is a dark, quiet room and about 15 minutes of your time each day.

Start Walking

When it comes to maintaining a healthy spine, the benefits of walking are countless. Taking regular strolls will help to strengthen your core muscles that keep your body upright, nourish your spinal structures, improve your flexibility and strengthen your bone structure.

If you currently experience back pain, get clearance from your GP before starting any new walking activity.  Also, start out with several short walks each day rather than a single long walk. If your pain is severe, you may want to consider walking in a pool to reduce the amount of pressure on your spine.

Match Your Pillow To Your Position

The pillow you use to sleep on should support the natural curve of your neck. So if you sleep on your side you will probably need a thicker pillow to ensure your neck and head are positioned in the middle of your shoulders. Your height and the width of your shoulders will help determine the type of pillow you need.  To ensure that you are sleeping on the correct pillow for you, buy your sleeping items from a reputable bed store and ask for advice on what items are best suited for your size and sleeping position.

Take action now and the changes you make this spring could result in long lasting good health.

Spring Sports to Boost Your Back Health

If you think that taking it easy is the best way to manage your back pain, think again! Exercising regularly is one of the most effective ways to reduce back pain and prevent future episodes from returning. According to our Southend chiropractor, there is an exercise suitable for almost anyone suffering from back pain. Some people even start exercising the day after having back surgery!

So now that spring will soon be upon us, why not get your body moving and shift your back pain?

Aerobic exercise, such as walking and swimming, can really help to get your blood flowing to your back muscles, which can increase strength and aid in injury recovery. Yoga is also a great choice of activity if you suffer with back pain. A good instructor will even be able to adapt your exercises to suit your level of comfort.

Remember to check with your doctor or therapist before starting any new exercise and to stop any activity immediately if it causes your pain to worsen.

Undo the Damage in Your Spine.

Do you often find that your back, neck and shoulders feel tight or stiff after a long day at the office or a journey in the car? If so, you’re not alone!

While maintaining good posture is the best way to avoid such aches and pains, here our Southend chiropractor reveals an exercise that can further help to relieve your symptoms…

  1. Start by lying on your stomach with your elbows bent under your shoulders and your palms facing down.
  2. Imagine that you are opening your rib cage and reversing your slouching posture.
  3. Inhale and press your stomach up, lifting your chest. Your elbows should raise about 3 to 5 inches off the floor.
  4. Exhale and contract your glute muscles toward your upper thighbones, creating length in your lower back.
  5. Breathe in and push your chest forward, widening your sternum between your collarbones.

Give it a try; it’s easy to do and you will almost certainly feel immediate benefits.

Important Note: If your 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 exercise, stop immediately and contact your healthcare provider for advice.

An Hour of Activity Could Save Your Life

back care advice from cliffs chiropractor southendDo you regularly sit for prolonged periods of time?

Do you generally lead an inactive lifestyle?

If so, you could be putting yourself at risk of dying prematurely – even more at risk than those who smoke!

According to recent findings, a shocking 5.3 million premature deaths a year are linked to inactivity, compared to 5.1 million linked to smoking! These worrying figures from a recent study published in the Lancet to coincide with the Olympics.

In light of these revelations, our Southend chiropractor warns that while many people recognise that an inactive lifestyle can cause back pain, many are unaware of the most sinister risks it brings. Many of us – especially office workers – sit for more than eight hours a day, five days  a week, and for the majority of us who do so, this level of inactivity is deemed as a necessity to carry out our work.

But this frequency of prolonged inactivity is now linked to serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It’s therefore crucially important that all office workers (particularly those of us who don’t engage in regular physical activity) make a focused effort to incorporate some form of exercise into our daily schedules. Just one hour of exercise a day can actually offset these health risks.

The results of the study revealed  that people who sat down for eight hours a day, but still engaged in regular physical activity, had a significantly reduced chance of early death compared with people who sat for fewer hours a day, but do not exercise.

If a full hour’s physical activity every day seems unrealistic, our chiropractor recommends incorporating small fragments of manageable exercises into the day. Getting off the bus a stop sooner, for example, or climbing the stairs instead of riding in the lift can make a difference. Walking during lunch and tea breaks and parking the car further away from the office are also great ways to slot in some health-boosting exercise. The bottom line is that we should all be looking at ways to reduce the amount of time for which we are sedentary and increase our physical activity.

Increased activity doesn’t cost you anything, but inactivity could cost you your health, and according to this recent study, even your life.

Move more. Live more.


Walk More. Live Longer.

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise we can all take and is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your spine healthy

It is simple, doesn’t require any special equipment, all the family can join in and it’s free. It’s also a great way to get out and about and visit the local area.

There are so many great places to walk around Southend and the surrounding areas such as Leigh on Sea and Hadleigh.

As a chiropractor near Leigh on Sea a popular walk that you can take starts and ends in Hadleigh and takes in Leigh and Sea.  It covers about 6 miles. Starting at Chapel Lane car park and finishing at Hadleigh Castle Country Park (with plenty of stops for refreshments in between), this wonderful walk offers generous views across the scenic Thames estuary and Canvey Island. With Canary Walk to the west and the beautiful Kent countryside to the South, you can expect to sink into the historical ambience along your way, and catch some amazing views of the local wildlife! Here is a link to find out more about this walk.

Make the most of the incredible area you live in – put one foot in front of the other and take the first steps towards a longer and healthier life!

Back to school: Encourage Good Back Health

back care advice for children from cliffs chiropractor southendFor many parents, September brings a sigh of relief as the kids go back to school and sanity levels can finally return to normal. But with another term comes another few months of worrying if your child is staying healthy beyond those school gates. While you can’t escape a few scraped knees here and there, you can encourage good spine health in your child and prevent their risk of developing future back problems.

Here our Southend chiropractor reveals four easy tips to ensure your child’s back-to-school is a healthy one:

1: Invest in a Good Back Pack!

Your child’s backpack should be light, snug and comfortable to wear with two wide padded shoulder straps and a waist strap. But remember a back pack is only as good as the way it is packed. Make sure your child unloads any unnecessary items every evening after school and carries the heaviest items at the bottom of the bag.

2: Encourage Good Health at Homework Time

You encourage good spine health in your child by ensuring he/ she uses a book stand while studying or reading. This will help to keep your child’s books at eye level and reduce the amount of strain on the shoulders and neck. And of course, there’s also the added bonus of creating extra desk space!

3: Warm Up For the New Term

If the typical British weather has kept your child away from many sports over the summer holidays, he/ she may need extra time warming up before they jump back into their school physical activities.

Good warm up routines should last for a minimum of 10-15 minutes and should include movements that simulate the sport about to be played.

4: Teach Good Posture

You may be able to remind your child not to slouch at home, but do your words resonate in the classroom? Instead of simply telling your child to sit up straight, educate them on the importance of good posture. Tell your child that maintaining the correct posture will reduce the amount of strain on his/ her neck shoulders and lower back and make him/ her more attentive in class!  The more your child understands the importance of good posture, the more likely they will be to practice it until it comes a natural way to sit. Encourage your child to sit with his/ her shoulders back and chin tucked in with a gentle “C curve” in the low back. You can check your child’s posture by seeing if his/ her ears, shoulders and hips follow a straight line.

Here’s to a term of A* back health!


Summer Walks in Leigh on Sea for a Healthy Spine

back care advice from our chiropractor near leigh on seaThere are few things more enjoyable than a peaceful summer’s walk. Breathing in the tranquil fresh air and soaking up the vibrant blooming scenery with not so much as a single distraction is good for both the body and mind – especially if you suffer from back pain.

According to our chiropractor near Leigh on Sea, regular walking can reduce the likelihood or severity of additional episodes of back pain and can even enhance your ability to continue undertaking everyday activities.

Here are three ways that walking can help your back pain:

1: It can strengthen the muscles in your feet, legs, hips, and torso

Walking helps to condition the muscles that keep your body in the upright position, which will in turn increase the stability of your spine.

2: It can nourish your spinal structures

Walking encourages strong circulation which facilitates the delivery of essential nutrients to soft tissues.

3: It can help with flexibility and posture

Regular walking promotes a greater range of motion which helps to prevent the risk of future injuries.

Leigh on Sea offers some fantastic scenic walking paths that are suitable for beginners and more advanced walkers.

The Leigh on Sea rail station walk is a firm favourite amongst our patients and is suitable for those of you suffering from back pain. The scenic walk takes place along the coastal path between Leigh on Sea rail station and Benfleet station in Essex and provides a variety of stunning views on clear summer days. The path is completely flat with plenty of charming pubs, as well as the cockle sheds and a beach in pretty cobblestoned old fishing village on route.

For more advanced walkers, the Leigh on Sea castle walk provides wonderful views along the Thames and across to Canvey Island. This path involves a little road walking and some parts can be muddy or wet after heavy rain.

Who would have known that a simple summer stroll could bring so many health benefits to your spine? Start putting one foot in front of the other and you never know, you really could be “walking on sunshine” this summer!

Chiropractic – the Power Behind Outstanding Athletes!

The Euros are in full swing, Wimbledon starts next week and the Rio 2016 Olympics are just around the corner, to name but a few. It may come as a surprise just how many sports men and women benefit from chiropractic treatment. Here are just a few famous faces.

Please share with friends or relatives that could benefit from chiropractic but may be sceptical or anxious to try it.

Chiropractic is fundamental in sports medicine and many trainers will encourage it before, during, and after any physical performance, giving many athletes the edge that makes them world class.

Here are a few examples of how chiropractors have kept the sports world in motion.

Usain Bolt

Yes the fastest man on earth benefits from regular chiropractic treatment. Usain Bolt has shared that to help him keep in top shape he couldn’t do without his regular chiropractic care. His strenuous training regime includes regular sessions with his chiropractor.

Tiger Woods

Considered as one of the greatest professional golfers of all time, Tiger Woods has had numerous visits to chiropractic clinics throughout his career. In fact he says chiropractic care has helped him enhance his physical well-being. He goes on to say that chiropractic care is as vital as his daily training and exercise.

Evander Holyfield

Known as “The Real Deal,” Evander Holyfield is a world renowned American boxer who became the champion in both heavyweight and cruiserweight categories. As a boxer, Holyfield admits that before his training, he makes sure that he first visits his chiropractor. In fact, he has at least three chiropractic sessions in a week.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger started weight training when he was 15 years old. Arnold claims that chiropractic care has been largely beneficial to his overall health. In fact, he believes that a timely visit to his chiropractor is hugely responsible for his long-lasting vigor!
“He (his chiropractor) adjusts my wife, my kids, me, everybody gets an adjustment. And we feel always great when Franco leaves. Even when I have athletic injuries he’s always there for me and helps me.”

Dan O’Brien

Decathlon Gold Medalist, “If it were not for chiropractic, I would not have won the gold medal”.

Chiropractic Care at the Olympics

For years, chiropractors have worked with world-class Olympic athletes to improve their strength, endurance, and range of motion while training. For the first time ever in 2012 chiropractic care was offered to athletes at the Olympic games in 2012. They worked as part of a large multi-disciplinary team in the polyclinic. In addition many countries sent their own team chiropractors, with the US team sending over 100 chiropractors to treat their athletes

In the run up to the 2012 games UK chiropractors treated Usain Bolt to recover from a back injury and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has been having treatment since 2008.

In fact US exercise physiologist Sean Atkins estimates that at least 90% of elite athletes use chiropractic on a regular basis to prevent injuries and enhance performance.












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.