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.

Not Keen On Taking Exercise – Try One of These

The sedentary lifestyle that many people are living is seriously damaging their health and this includes the health of their spine.  Our chiropractors are keen to persuade everyone where appropriate to be more active and to take regular exercise. Whatever your age, level of ability or health condition there’s a form of exercise that will suit you.

Our chiropractors are committed to helping people take better care of themselves and have developed programmes that help support people in doing this. Two such programmes are The Back Story and Back to Business.

Having seen the effects that modern day living is having on all generations, Arif Soomro, one of our experienced chiropractors developed The Back Story.  Arif says, “We all understand the importance of taking care of ourselves; it’s better for our quality of life, especially as we get older. But at Cliffs we’re treating the effects of modern day living and are now seeing more and more 20 and 30-year-olds with the kind of neck, shoulder and back problems usually associated with much older people.”.

The Back Story enables you to click on your age-group and offers you suggestions for the best forms of exercises you can take to help you increase your energy levels, strength and flexibility. Check it out here.

If you spend hours working at your desk all day, you may very well be complaining of a stiff neck, aching shoulders or a bad back. If any of this sounds familiar, then our Back to Business programme is for you. There are six simple exercises that are really easy to do, especially in the confines of an office. Why not take a look here.

Our chiropractors at Cliffs Chiropractic in Southend are committed to help you gain the best possible health.

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!

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.

Paz Made It Happen For This Strongman

Richard Ellis visited Cliffs with difficulty breathing and wasn’t at all positive that he was going to be able to compete in his first amateur strongman competition.

But with help from Paz, Richard got in touch to share his outstanding performance with us at the competition!

Richard wrote to us saying:

“I wanted to thank you for all your help. I first came to see Paz as I couldn’t breathe properly as my ribs and spine weren’t agreeing with one another.

I had 3 weeks left to prepare for my first amateur strongman competition and wasn’t positive about being at my best.

To cut a long story short, Paz made it happen. I did really well in my competition and couldn’t have done it without Cliffs Chiropractic.

Please see attached a video from the day.”


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.



Your Lower Back Will Thank You if You Do These Daily Things

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give too much thought about how you can protect your back on a daily basis. But according to our Southend chiropractor, this could lead to serious back problems over time.

Knowledge is power when it comes to maintaining a healthy spine, so we’ve highlighted two simple things that you can do every day to protect your back.

1: Move Every 20 Minutes

You may not know this, but your body can safely withstand being in the same position for only about 20 minutes. If you regularly sit or stand in one position for longer than this, you can risk reducing the elasticity of your back muscles, tendons and ligaments. This can put extra stress on your lower back, which can lead to discomfort and pain.

2: Eat Good Food Every Day

Being overweight can certainly contribute to your back pain, but binge dieting or following fad eating plans won’t provide you with the consistent flow of nutrients that your spine and body needs.

Try to avoid processed foods, and instead incorporate lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your daily diet.

Daily healthy habits or daily back pain? We know what we’d choose!

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.

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!