A Healthy Body Needs a Healthy Spine!

We’re living in the most health conscious era yet, but not many people consider the health of their backs as relevant to their overall wellbeing. But a healthy spine can have a very positive influence on your health in general.

Our Southend chiropractor explains that the spine’s primary function is to surround and protect the spinal cord, through which every message from the brains travels to the rest of the body.  It is these nerves that control every single bodily function, from limb movements to organ control.

So if you have a damaged or stiff joint in the spine, and it impinges a nerve, it can cause a lot more than just back pain – a nerve pathway can become disrupted and other areas or organs of your body may suffer as a result.

Good spine health is more important than most people realise. Look after your spine – it serves you well!


Straighten Up & Move

We love this great video that has been created for World Spine Day. This year’s campaign, ‘Straighten Up and Move’ promotes the importance of physical activity for a healthy spine.

Watch the video, sing along and get moving:)

Here at Cliffs Chiropractic Clinic we totally support the campaign and our Back to Business exercise programme is designed to help people straighten up through a series of exercises to counteract everyday actions like using your mobile phone or sitting down at a desk for hours on end.

Arif says  “We all need to be more aware of how we sit, stand and walk. It’s all too easy to slouch. I’m treating more and more back conditions than ever before and my patients are getting younger, under 30, and this is a direct result of our more sedentary lifestyles and our near-addiction to mobile devices. This is putting additional strain on the spine as we bend our necks to send and receive texts and emails, leading to early wear-and-tear on the upper spine and spinal degeneration. It’s even got a name – ‘text neck’.”

(The term ‘text neck’ was made famous in 2014 by Dr Kenneth Hansraj, Head of Spine Surgery Research at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine in 2014. His research revealed that constantly staring down at our mobile devices increases the effective pressure on the neck, from 27lbs at a 15-degree angle to 60lbs at 60 degrees, leading to early wear-and-tear on the upper spine and spinal degeneration. He said that this condition, which was reaching epidemic levels, could result in permanent spinal damage.)

Arif recommends that his simple exercises (there are only six) should be done every hour to alleviate stiffness, prevent back pain, develop better posture and improve energy levels. His intention is that they will become second nature, just like brushing your teeth, so it helps that each exercise has been given a memorable name: The Sway, the Squeeze, the Sit Down, the Cuppa, the Chin Tuck and the Thinker, and only takes seconds to perform.

You can watch the Back to Business videos here.


Your Spine Through Your Lifetime

back care advice from our chiropractor leigh on seaEver wondered why back pain sometimes occurs in later life? Understanding the normal aging process of the spine is fundamental to keeping it strong and healthy. For many people, discovering how much the spine goes through during our lifespan can create a new found respect for just how precious it is!

Here our Southend chiropractor highlights the typical ways in which our spines change as we age:

As we age our bones tend to become less dense, making them weaker and more susceptible to breaks. This reduction in bone density is partly due to the fact that older bones contain less calcium (The amount of calcium decreases because the body absorbs less calcium from foods). Another factor is that vitamin D levels – which facilitate the way the body uses calcium – also slightly decreases. Typically, certain bones become weaker than others with the most affected being the spine, the ends of the thigh bones and the ends of the arm bones.

In women, loss of bone density can often speed up following the menopause. This is due to a reduction in the amount of estrogen being produced, which helps to prevent too much bone from being broken down during the body’s normal process of forming, breaking down, and re-forming bone.

Ever wondered why people get shorter as they get older? As we age, the spine’s vertebrae become less dense and the cushions of tissue (discs) between them lose fluid and become thinner, making the spine shorter.

Cartilage that lines the joints also tends to thin, usually because of the wear and tear of years of movement. In older people, the surfaces of a joint may not slide over each other as well as they used to, and the joint may be slightly more prone to injury. Damage to the cartilage as a result of lifelong use of joints or repeated injury can lead to osteoarthritis, (one of the most common disorders of later life).

Ligaments change too, usually becoming less elastic which can make joints feel stiff or tight. These tissues also tend to weaken as we age, hence why older people are often less flexible than younger generations.

The more you do to look after your spine in your younger years, the better able it will be to cope with the normal aging process.

At Cliffs, our chiropractors help people of all ages maintain a healthy spine. Our patients come to our award winning clinic from Southend and surrounding local areas including Leigh on Sea, Rayleigh, Hockley, Canvey Island and Hadleigh.