Is Your Spine Ready for Spring?

With the end of winter finally in sight, many of us are thinking about getting our bodies in ship shape for the change of season. If you suffer with back pain, spring and summer can take its toll on your emotional and physical well being. You know the picture – everyone seems to be enjoying fun activities in the sunshine and you’re battling chronic pain. But did you know that one of the best ways to manage your back pain is by exercising regularly? According to our Southend chiropractor, if you want to reduce your back pain in time for summer, you should start exercising now!

Exercise is absolutely essential when it comes to maintaining a healthy spine and rehabilitating an injured spine. A basic routine that focuses on stretching and strengthening the back, hamstrings and abdominal muscles will help to distribute nutrients into your spinal discs and soft tissues. This will then accelerate your healing process and keep your discs, muscles, ligaments, and joints healthy.

No one wants to be laid up during the sunny seasons, so get moving and move pain out of your life this Spring and Summer!

How not to injury yourself during the Winter Olympics

back care advice from our southend chiropractorWith the Winter Olympics soon set to hit our screens, many of us will be spending a good few hours in front of the TV. But did you know that sitting down for prolonged periods can be seriously harmful to your spine and other aspects of your health? According to our Southend chiropractor, more than half of us spend over six hours sitting down each and every day, which can have short- and long-term effects on our health and bodies. So if you’re planning on slumping in front of the TV this February, take a look at the damage it could do to your health:

1.  It can cause weak legs and glutes

If you don’t use them, you lose them as they say. Sitting for long periods of time means you don’t have to depend on your powerful lower body muscles to support your weight. This can lead to weakening of the muscles. Without strong leg and glute muscles to stabilise you, your body is at risk of injury.

2.  It can lead to weight gain

Regular movement causes your muscles to release important molecules which help to process the fats and sugars you eat. If you spend most of your day sitting, less of these molecules are released and you become at risk of gaining more weight.

3. It can result in tight hips and back pain

Your hips and back will almost certainly suffer from sitting for too long. When you are sitting down, your hip flexors shorten which causes them to become tight and stiff. On top of this, if you have bad posture or you don’t use an ergonomic chair, the health of your spine will suffer! Poor posture while sitting can cause compression on the discs in your spine which can lead to premature degeneration and chronic pain.

Similarly to your lower back,  your shoulders and neck are also likely to suffer from prolonged periods of sitting. This is especially true if you tend to sit in a hunched or slouched position.

Relaxing in front of the TV may seem like quite a benign thing to do, but the health implications of sitting down for too long can be enormous!

Love Your Back This Valentine’s Day!

back care advice from our southend chiropractorIt’s the month of romance, but are you giving your spine the love and attention it needs? Your spine is an amazing structure, but it needs TLC to function properly. Millions of people are affected by back pain every day. And of course, as well as living with the pain itself, chronic back pain can affect your quality of life, causing you to miss work and social activities that you enjoy  In some cases, it can even prevent you from being able to carry out simple, everyday tasks. So it goes without saying that taking care of your spine will help you to reduce your chances of experiencing back pain later on in life.

Here are simple yet important adjustments to make for good spine health from our Southend chiropractor:

Lift correctly.

It’s very easy to twist the wrong way and injure your spine if you don’t lift correctly.  When lifting, our chiropractor recommends that you stand as close to the object as you can, and use the weight of your legs and knees rather than your back or upper body to pull up. It will also help if you bend your knees so your arms are at the same height as the object you’re lifting.

Sleep tight.

Sleeping well is important to good health, and this includes your spine health! Your body needs a good night’s sleep to repair itself, so don’t underestimate the power of quality sleep. To encourage good spine health, it’s also important to invest in a supportive mattress as well as a pillow that promotes proper alignment of your neck.

Stretch out.

Keeping flexible can help to maintain normal joint function and a good range of motion. It can also reduces the risk of back injury..

Stay active.

Despite what many people believe, being inactive will increase your risk of back pain and is likely to worsen any existing pain condition. Whether you make regular visits to the gym, walk, bike, swim, or play with your kids, it’s super important to stay active and keep your body moving to maintain a healthy spine.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Exercise, along with a healthy diet, will help you to lose any excess weight or maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese, or quickly gaining a significant amount of weight, are major risk factors for low back pain — extra weight (especially around your midriff) can put added stress on the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your lower back, which can lead to pain and discomfort.

We hope these tips help you to love and look after your spine! We’re always here to help with any advice you need!

Back Pain Myths Revealed!

back care advice from our southend chiropractorWith 80% of us experiencing back pain at some point during our lives, it’s pretty important that we are clued up on it! There’s a lot of conflicting information out there, so our Southend chiropractor sorts the myths from the facts once and for all:

Myth 1: You Need the Firmest Mattress Possible.

You may experience more back pain if your mattress is too firm since it puts more strain on heavy points like the hips and shoulders. On the other hand, a mattress that is too soft may lack the support required to allow proper movement.

Myth 2: Back Pain Is Caused By Exercise.

This is probably the biggest back pain myth of all! It goes without saying that if you don’t work out at all and then you attempt a marathon, you’re probably going to pick up an injury, but regular exercise is one of the best ways to keep your spine strong and healthy and to reduce your risk of developing/ worsening back pain.

Myth 3: Back Pain Is An Unavoidable Side-Effect Of Getting Older.

Getting older does not have to be painful! While there are certain natural changes that come with an aging body, staying physically active will help to keep your body strong, limber and flexible.  Exercises such as T’ai Chi, Pilates and yoga are gentle yet effective ways to help your body age with ease and comfort. No matter how old you are, you do not have to live with back pain!

Myth 4:  Your Back Pain Came Out Of Nowhere.

If you suffer with back pain, you may believe that one wrong twist or awkward movement was the sole cause of your injury. But in reality, your problem is likely the result of several other factors such as overdoing a workout, using poor technique when lifting heavy objects or bad posture. Remember that your spine is designed to provide strength and flexibility and so back pain almost never comes “out of nowhere”.

So there you have it – the truth about back pain!

Our team are always on hand to answer any questions you have, so feel free to get in touch with us for help and advice.

The January Blues Can Be a Pain in the Neck!

Is January becoming a pain in the neck? Or a headache to deal with, even? If you are feeling those aches and pains more so at this time of the year, it could be down to the January blues.

When your mood is low, or you’re feeling downbeat and lethargic, you are more likely to slump or slouch. And when you sit in this position, knots form in the neck muscles, which release chemicals that can make nerves more sensitive to pain. This can cause pain to be felt in the head, (known as a tension headache) resulting in a similar sensation to a tight, pressing pain on both sides of the head. According to our Southend chiropractor, tension headaches are the most common type of headache and about 80 % of tension headaches are caused by muscles in the neck.

So watch how you’re sitting and try your best not to slouch!

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.


Stay Pain Free in the Office

If you’re like many people these days, you probably spend a significant part of your day in front of a screen, be it a laptop, computer or tablet.

The amount of screen time you rack up can really soar if you work at a computer during the days. And this can lead to an imbalance in the way you use your body, eventually causing pain, stiffness and discomfort.

That’s why an ergonomic evaluation is essential, according to our Southend chiropractor. This kind of assessment will focus on providing a comfortable, adjustable chair, appropriate education on how to adjust it to fit you, and a keyboard tray.

Your workplace may even evaluate the positioning of printers, screens, and the mouse to suit your needs. You could even speak to your employer about purchasing a standing desk to help manage your neck and upper back pain.

Too much desk work is seriously bad news for your spine.

At Cliffs Chiropractic in Southend we care about your back health and this is why we put together our Back to Business programme. The programme includes exercises that you can do every day to fend off back problems. You can watch a series of videos that will show you step by step each exercise here.

Three Things Your Spine Wants You To Do!

back care advice from our southend chiropractorApart from the sniffles, back pain is the number one ailment that sends patients to the doctors. It’s actually the fifth most common reason for hospitalisations and the third most common cause of surgery.

Let’s just say it’s a pretty common complaint!

There are many possible causes of back pain, which means there are also many solutions, according to our Southend chiropractor. Back pain is not usually the result of one significant event, but rather several situations coming together to create pain. And it turns out that some seemingly minor everyday habits can take a big toll on your back over time.

But that’s good news. Because if you can control what’s causing your pain, you can control what reduces it. With that in mind, here are a few things you can do to look after your spine:

Sit Less

Sitting puts three times as much pressure on your spine than standing. While the modern way of living forces many of us to spend prolonged periods of time hunched over a laptop or computer, there’s nothing stopping any of us from getting up on our two feet and moving more. Even taking a break from your computer every half an hour or so can make a significant difference to the health of your spine. If you want an easy way to avoid back pain, sit less and stand more. It’s as simple as that!

Improve Your Posture

Poor posture is one of the biggest culprits for back pain. It’s easy to get into the habit of slouching or slumping – especially when we’re tired or snuggled up on the sofa. But this is one of the worst things you can do for your spine. The next time you feel your spine curling up, think about the pressure you’re putting on those delicate discs and the kind of pain that is likely to develop as a result. Make a focused effort to straighten up now and good posture will soon become a positive habit that improves the health of your spine.

Drink More Water

Apart from oxygen, there’s nothing your body needs more than water. Without enough water, your body cannot deliver enough nutrients to your spine. And without enough nutrients, your spine cannot function properly.

Take these three tips on board and we are certain you will soon notice a difference in your back pain symptoms. You have more control over the health of your spine than you think!

Fibromyalgia and Chiropractic Care

Are the symptoms of fibromyalgia getting you down? Are you fed up of dealing with persistent backaches, leg cramps, and foot pain? If so, then chiropractic treatment may be just the perfect thing for you! Chiropractic care is becoming an increasingly popular treatment option for fibromyalgia sufferers because of the pain and stress relief that it can provide

Fibromyalgia can cause numerous tender points all over the body and many fibromyalgia patients experience back pain, neck pain, and leg cramps. According to our Southend chiropractor, simple adjustments to the neck and spine can restore the carriage of the whole body. As a result, many fibromyalgia sufferers find that alignments of the spine can significantly reduce pain all over their bodies.

Remember that chiropractors can do more than just heal back pain!



Beat The Post Holiday Blues!

You excitedly plan for your summer holiday for months on end and within a week or two it’s all over. Yep, the holiday-blues can hit you harder than those post-cocktail hangovers. Fortunately, our Southend chiropractor has some great tips on regaining your summer smile following your trip:

1: Start a New Hobby

Think about something that interests you, and take the plunge and get started. You may have a surprising talent or you may discover that you don’t enjoy it after all. But the fun is in trying.

2: Learn

Enrolling in a class or workshop is a great way to distract you from the holiday blues and add some excitement to your life. Knowledge is invigorating!

3: Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes

It’s really difficult to feel good on a bad diet.  Remember that the choices you make for your body will have a direct impact on how you feel emotionally. If you’re feeling blue following your holiday, dump your bad habits and turn to healthy food and regular exercise. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you start feeling happier.

Stay happy, stay healthy!