Don’t Let Christmas Shopping Online Be A Pain In The Back

christmas shopping advice from our southend chiropractorWith the clocks turning back, the nights closing in and the shops starting to line their shelves with Christmas goods, your attention may be turning to your Christmas preparations. For many this starts with getting the Christmas shopping underway. More and more people are turning to the convenience of shopping online these days.

Shopping online can protect our backs from some of the rigours of going to the shops, however, spending time online on your PC or laptop, especially if you are not maintaining a good posture, can have a detrimental effect on your back.  A poor seated posture can causes many stresses and strains and slouching compresses the joints in the spine, discs are squashed and incorrect muscles are engaged.

Our chiropractors at Cliffs Chiropractic Clinic in Southend want to share their top pieces of advice for keeping your back safe when Christmas shopping online.

  1. Avoid sitting/slouching on the sofa: As we mentioned slouching is not good for your back in general and adding hunching over your laptop or tablet on your sofa only adds to the stresses and strains on your back and neck. If you are going to spend hours online Christmas shopping then set yourself up at your desk or table.
  2. Maintain a good seated posture: Make sure your desk and seat are set up to help you maintain a good posture. Arif, one of our chiropractors has written an article and made a video to help you maintain a good seated posture. You can access the article and video by clicking this link here.
  3. Take regular breaks: Sitting for prolonged periods is not good for your back so make sure you take regular breaks at least every 30 minutes. Stand up and move around and why not take the opportunity to do some simple stretches.

Online shopping this Christmas doesn’t need to be a pain in the back if you follow our chiropractors’ advice.

Happy online shopping.

Back To School Advice For Parents

back care advice for children from our cliffs chiropractor southendFor many parents the next week will be all about getting the children ready for the start of a new school term. There’s plenty to do from getting the school uniforms sorted out to making the last minute purchases of pencils, papers and pens.

It’s the time of year when our chiropractors turn their attention to reminding parents of the importance of  keeping their children’s back safe.

As chiropractors in our long established and busy chiropractic clinic in Southend we are increasingly treating younger patients. Children, as well as adults, are leading more sedentary lives and many are spending an increasing number of hours hunched in front of computers or over mobile devices. These actions are leading to an increase in back and neck pain in children.

Our chiropractors can’t stress enough how important it is to keep a child’s spine healthy. Maintaining a good posture is an important part of maintaining a healthy spine. The British Chiropractic Association has developed ‘Straighten Up UK’ a simple three minute programme specifically to help with improving posture. It has been developed to be a fun programme that people of all ages can do – a great way to engage your children without the need to nag!

You can view the video below and follow along.

Arif Soomro, one of our chiropractors, has also developed The Back Story programme which is a self help programme designed by age group to set out lifestyle changes that combat the effects of modern day living on our backs.  It starts with Toddles, Under 11s, Teens all the way through to the 80s – you simply click on the relevant age group for the advice.

One of the areas of concerns our chiropractors have is the stress put on children’s spines from carrying bags to and from school. It seems that bags are becoming heavier every year which is why it’s so important that as parents we ensure that bags are fit for purpose and not overloaded.

Backpacks are a good option for carrying, however, they do need to be carried and adjusted properly. The backpack should be carried over both shoulders and adjusted to ensure that the weight is spread evenly across the back and held as closely to the body as possible.

Here is a link to one of our previous blog posts about rucksacks with more information – Back to School Back Health.

At the start of the new term our chiropractors at Cliffs Chiropractic Clinic in Southend wishes all school children a happy and successful school year.

Improve Your Posture With This Simple Programme

As chiropractors we are only too well aware of how important having and maintaining a good posture is to the good health of your back. However, it often comes as a complete surprise to many of the patients we treat at Cliff Chiropractic in Southend.

Of course there are other benefits of maintaining a good posture and not just physical health ones. A good posture can also have a positive influence on your mental well-being and how you look.  Standing straighter can lift your mood and make you feel and appear more confident and eager. It also makes you look taller and slimmer without the help of high heels or a diet!

Unfortunately our lifestyles are often not conducive to maintaining a good posture. Spending hours in front of our computers, time spent slouched on the sofa watching TV, driving long distances and holding stress in our bodies are all some of the activities that take their toll on our posture.

The good news is that there are some simple and effective things you can do to improve your posture.

The British Chiropractic Association (BC) has developed a simple 3 minute exercise programme that is designed for you to incorporate into your daily routine and that will help improve your posture. It’s called Straighten Up UK.

The video below will take you through the programme. It can be done by people of all ages and abilities. The exercises can be adapted to suit your needs – discuss these with your GP, chiropractor or other health care practitioner before you start.






Take the 30 Second Spine Health Check!

Want to check the health of your spine in just 30 seconds, our Southend chiropractor recommends that you try this simple posture test:

Stand with your feet flat on the ground, and make sure your heels are about 6 inches away from the wall.

Put your back flat against the wall.

Next, place your head against the wall and tuck in your chin.

Stretch your arms out to shoulder height and bend your elbows. The tips of your fingers should be pointing forward, and your elbows should be straight out from your shoulders.

Now rotate your arms upward at the elbows, keeping them bent, and try to touch the back of your wrists to the wall.

If your back arches, or you can’t get your wrists to touch the wall, that suggests you have poor posture.

Maintaining good posture is one of the simplest ways to maintain a healthy spine, so give this quick and easy test a try!

Mind Your Posture This Christmas!

good postureChristmas is coming and for many of us, this brings the perfect opportunity to spend hours slouched on the sofa. But the importance of maintaining good posture doesn’t go away just because it’s Christmastime.

Here our Southend chiropractor reminds us of some key health benefits of maintaining good posture.

Facilitates breathing: Good posture will naturally enable you to breathe properly. This is why yoga, pilates and meditation exercises pay so much attention on getting your posture and sitting positions right.

Increases concentration and thinking ability: When you are breathing properly, you also increase your thinking ability. Your brain requires 20% of oxygen to do its job properly. And of course, more air means more oxygen.

Improve your image: People with good postures look smarter, more confident and more attractive. A person with a good posture naturally exudes an aura of assertiveness and appeal.

Feel even better about yourself: Even without doing anything different, a good posture will help to make you feel more self confident. You can try it out now. Try sitting in a bad posture now for 30 seconds then switch to a good posture for 30 seconds. Is there any difference in how you felt? Probably a lot!

Avoid health complications: Long term bad posture can result in several complications over time. This can include an increased risks of a slipped disc, back aches, back pain, pressure inside your chest and even poor blood circulation.

A good posture means maintaining the two natural curves at your back – the concave curve from the base of your head to your shoulders and the concave curve from your upper back to the base of your spine.

Start focusing on improving your posture today and it will soon come naturally to you.  Before you know it, standing and sitting in the correct position will be something you do without even putting any thought into. When it comes to maintaining a healthy spine, good posture is up there with one of the best things you can do. It really is that important.


Stand Taller, Feel Better & Get Fitter

a spine chilling pictureTo highlight the importance of taking our health and especially our posture more seriously Cliffs Chiropractic Clinic have launched the ‘Back Story’ campaign, using a spine-chilling image to drive home the message.

The Echo is backing our campaign and covered the launch of the campaign at St Thomas More High School. Arif was also interviewed on BBC Essex.

You can read the article in the Echo by clicking on the image below.

Echo Back Story

You can listen to Arif’s interview on BBC Essex below.



Designed For Less? How Modern Life Affects the Spine

neck care advice fom our southend chiropractorHas the enterprise of technology started the demise of the human spine? It’s a worrying possibility, according to our Southend chiropractor who treats an increasing number of people for technology-associated back and neck pain.

Technology has evolved rapidly over the past few decades which has changed the way we live tremendously. For thousands of years, the human race spent time hunting and gathering for food, and running and fighting for survival.  Of course, we adapted and evolved, but over the last twenty years or so, we have become much more sedentary as a species. And the effects are a rise in diabetes, heart disease, certain forms of cancer and poor musculoskeletal health.

Neck pain is a common reason why patients visit our chiropractic clinic; and much of this is a result of poor posture when using (or overusing) technological devices. But think about it… if neck pain is becoming a common condition in the adult population, what will be the effect on our children who are using technology at such early stages in their lives and at crucial periods of their skeletal development?

Our chiropractor worries that the younger generation could begin to develop back and neck problems at an earlier age and risk the development of future illness. The earlier postural patterns develop, the more difficult they are to adjust and improve later in life.

So how does technology use pose such a danger to our spines?

Most technology involves flexing the head and neck forward, which results in looking down rather than straight ahead. This generally won’t cause problems when done on a temporary basis, but using technology for hours on end can be seriously bad news for our spines. To be specific, we’re talking about the risk of symptoms such as neck and back pain, shoulder pain, headaches and neurological symptoms like pain, numbness and pins and needles in the arms.

The solution is simple – limit the amount of time you and your children spend using Smartphones, tablets and technological devices in general. The spine simply wasn’t designed to cope with the stresses of modern technology. Expecting the human spine to withstand the overuse of technology is like thinking a castle will stand on quicksand; it just won’t.

They say technology is advancing at break-neck speed; that’s not far from a literal statement.


Valentine’s Day Special: Why You Should Really Love Your Back!

back care advice from our southend chiropractorWith health information more readily available than ever, you’d be hard pressed to go through life without knowing that looking after your spine is pretty important! But why is taking care of our beloved backs so crucial?

As it’s the month of romance, our Southend chiropractor shares five great reasons why loving your spine should be your number one priority this Valentine’s Day…

1: Your spinal cord enables you to bend and twist. If you injure your spine, your mobility can become limited. Wear and tear over time and bad posture may also leave you with difficulties with sitting up straight, bending over and walking. Our spines have more functional responsibility than we give them credit for. The simple fact is your spine needs TLC in order for it to work optimally.

2: Your nervous system runs electrical impulses up and down your spine, enabling you to feel sensation. When you damage your spinal cord, neural responses can become disrupted which can lead to decreased or altered sensations in parts of your body, such as pain, numbness or tingling.

3: Each time you eat or drink, food and fluid travels down your throat and into your oesophagus before reaching your stomach. Your oesophagus is parallel with your spine. If you injure your spine, it can press against your oesophagus and potentially obstruct or even puncture it.  To give you an idea of the extent of this damage; a punctured oesophagus would require surgery.

4:  Incorrect movements and bad posture can place unnecessary pressure on the spine. Overtime, this can lead to degenerative diseases, wear and tear and permanent damage to your spinal discs.

5: Not only can stress on your spine be extremely painful, but a spine that doesn’t function properly can cause your quality of life to deteriorate. Chronic back pain can lead to feelings of frustration, isolation and even depression. The spine plays such a critical role in your overall health – it’s really not worth neglecting it.

So there you have it; five great reasons to give your spine the care and attention it needs!

Love your spine and it will love you back; it’s as simple as that.  It is the month for love, after all!

Sofa, So Bad … Why Posture Is Paramount For Back Pain

arifWith the Christmas season up on us, many of us may be thinking about chilling out on the sofa in front of the TV a little more than we normally do. However, time spent lounging on the sofa watching TV could be making us ill.

In a recent interview published in The Echo, Arif, explains how damaging sitting down can be to our health. He also shares his own secrets to vitality and good health.

Read the interview here:  Echo-feature-on-Arif-Soomro


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.