Blog Section

Why is posture so important?

Whether it’s being told to sit up straight or stop slouching, there’s many reasons why we were told to keep an eye on our posture growing up. However, as adults, we sometimes form bad habits and forget the importance of good posture.

Whether it’s physical or mental health, posture plays an important role in our overall health and has a variety of benefits.

Poor posture

Posture refers to the position of your body when you are standing or sitting and, more specifically, how your spine is aligned with your head, shoulders, and hips.

Poor posture occurs when the spine is not positioned in a neutral alignment. This could mean the curves in the spine are more emphasised than they should be. For example, by hunching over with your head forward. A common cause of this is ‘tech neck’, which results from us hunching over cell phones or computers.

Poor posture results in the joints, muscles and vertebrae being in stressful positions and, over a prolonged period, can have several negative impacts on your body.

Good posture

The back has three natural curves: at the neck, mid back, and lower back. Good posture maintains these curves by ensuring your head is above your shoulders and the top of the shoulders is over the hips.

It can sometimes feel uncomfortable or awkward to adjust your posture because bad posture doesn’t always cause pain or discomfort.

Here is a quick reminder for how to maintain posture when sitting or standing:

  • Sitting: the feet should rest flat on the floor, with even weight on both hips and your back should be mostly straight. The shoulders should be back and relaxed, whilst the ears line up over the collarbones.
  • Standing: the legs should have a slight bend in the knee so they are not hyperextended or locked, and weight should be evenly distributed. The shoulders should be down, and the spine and pelvis remains in a neutral position.

Physical benefits of good posture

There are many physical benefits associated with good posture, some of which are listed below.

  • Reduced back pain

Standing or sitting with poor posture for prolonged periods of time places additional stress on your lower back, which can be a common cause of back pain.

  • Less tension in the neck and shoulders

Particularly for ‘tech neck’ where the head is in a forward position, there can be additional strain on the upper back, shoulders, and neck. Good posture ensures the joints and ligaments are less stressed.

  • Fewer headaches

Poor posture can be the reason for tension headaches because it increases muscle tension in the back of the neck.

  • Lung capacity

Slouching compresses the lungs, so correcting your posture enables more space for your lungs to expand.

  • Improved strength

Maintaining good posture means using your muscles and keeping them engaged, particularly the muscles in your core and upper back.

Mental benefits of good posture

  • Increased energy levels

Good posture encourages the muscles to be used as they’re intended, rather than wasting energy. This means you will feel less fatigued.

  • Increased confidence

Together with increased energy levels, good posture can make you look taller and more toned, which can boost your self-confidence.



Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone and is well-known for triggering the “fight or flight” response in our bodies when we are stressed. However, cortisol is also responsible for regulating a wide range of processes throughout the body.

What is cortisol?

Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands, which is then released into the blood and transported around the body.

What does cortisol do?

Almost all our cells contain receptors for cortisol, meaning it plays an important role in several things your body does. For example, cortisol:

  • Manages how your body uses proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Increases blood sugar
  • Keeps inflammation down
  • Controls your sleep/wake cycle
  • Boosts energy

The short-term release of cortisol can give your body energy to fight or flee from a stressor, but it is possible for our cortisol levels to become unbalanced.

Too much stress

Usually, cortisol levels balance when the stress your body was reacting to passes. However, when cortisol levels are too high for too long, the hormone can have a negative impact on your body.

There are some health issues associated with high levels of cortisol over a prolonged period, including:

  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Mood irregularities

In women, this can impact periods causing them to become irregular, less frequent or stop altogether.

Cortisol levels have also been linked to conditions like anxiety or depression.

Managing cortisol levels

There are some lifestyle habits that can help you to manage cortisol levels.

  1. Sleep

Getting the right amount of sleep can be an effective way to reduce cortisol levels. Several things can be done to optimise your sleep, such as limiting caffeine intake, avoiding nicotine or alcohol, and implementing a regular sleep schedule.

  1. Exercise

Exercise can increase or decrease cortisol, depending on the intensity. Intense exercise can increase cortisol levels afterwards, which will decrease a few hours later.

However, regular exercise can also help with managing stress and promoting good health, which may help lower cortisol levels.

  1. Eating a nutritious diet

When trying to lower cortisol levels, it is important to eat a healthy and balanced diet, paying attention to sugar intake. Fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and even dark chocolate are thought to be helpful for managing cortisol.

Similarly, it is important to ear on a regularly because low blood sugar can increase cortisol.

  1. Staying hydrated

Dehydration has been linked to temporary increases in cortisol levels, meaning it is important to drink enough water throughout the day.

  1. Breathe

Deep breathing is a simple and effective way to reduce stress. It can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is associated with relaxation and lower cortisol levels. Meditation or yoga are just two examples of ways to practice deep breathing.


Back pain and exercising

It is estimated that around seven in ten people will suffer from severe back pain at some time during their lives. Though it is common and uncomfortable, it doesn’t have to be life-changing. If you are suffering from back pain, it is important to try stay active and resume your normal activities. There are several ways to stay active safely whilst suffering from back pain.

Types of back pain:

Pain in the lower back is particularly common, but back pain can refer to pain felt anywhere along the spine from the neck to the hips.

There are generally two types of back pain, non-specific and mechanical. But what is the difference?

Back pain is non-specific when there is no obvious cause, and this is quite common. On the other hand, mechanical back pain is when the pain originates from the joints, bones, or soft tissue in and around the spine.

Mechanical back pain is often associated with placing stress or strain on the back, which could have been caused by several things. For example, poor posture, lifting something incorrectly, and injury, or perhaps even feeling stressed or run down.

Conditions that can lead to back pain:

Though most back pain is non-specific and usually not too serious, there are several conditions that cause back pain which are. For example, a herniated disc (sometimes referred to as a slipped disc) or sciatica.

Occasionally, back pain could be a sign of a more serious problem, such as a broken bone in the spine or an infection.

Worst exercises for back pain:

There are some exercises that will exacerbate back pain.

  • High-impact activities

Exercises and activities that put stress on your joints can increase back pain. This includes high-impact activities, such as running or jumping, which should be avoided until the back pain has subsided.

  • Lifting heavy weights

There is some uncertainty about whether lifting weights should be avoided whilst suffering from back pain. Though lifting weights with the correct form could be fine, it is important to keep an eye on the weight you are lifting and not lift anything too heavy especially if you are lifting it above your head.

  • Core exercises

Core exercises are important, as strengthening the core can promote good posture and improve stability. However, if you are suffering from back pain, some core exercises could make your pain worse. For example, sit-ups, crunches, toe-touches, or leg lifts can place additional stress on your back.

Exercising with back pain:

Staying active can be an important part of recovering from back pain, and there are plenty of ways to exercise safely without placing additional strain on your back.

Here are some examples of activities that can be done safely and help keep your back strong and healthy.

  • Walking

Walking is often overlooked as a form of exercise but at a moderate pace it can gently and safely work your muscles. It won’t place additional strain on your back and can also help to build stamina and burn calories.

  • Swimming

Swimming is a low-impact and aerobic exercise, but the water also adds resistance to your movement. Plus, most water exercises are safe for back pain.

  • Pilates

Pilates can be done on a mat or using special equipment, but it aims to strengthen the body with a particular focus on core strength. It can be beneficial for people suffering from lower back pain, and it also improves posture, muscle tone, balance, joint mobility and relieve tension.


Warm Wet Weather Can Bring Pain

When there is wet weather during the summer months, plants and grass thrive and, if you have a garden, it can seem like you need to mow and weed nearly every weekend.  This can lead to aches and pains and even injury unless you take precautions.

People suffer from aches and pains when they undertake what seems to be relatively sedate activity such as gardening, is that the actions required are quite different from those carried out in the rest of the year.

The main causes are prolonged stretching and overuse of the ligaments and joints in the spine. Digging, mowing and stooping place considerable stress on the ligaments and joints in the lower lumbar spine and cause them to become inflamed and tender. This will trigger a protective muscle spasm which gives rise to the deeper, duller, achy type of pain that occurs over the following few days.

This happens year after year. It is very important to look after your muscles and joints, especially when undertaking a form of exercise that you are not used to. If you want to stop gardening aches and pains and be able to appreciate all the hard work the next day, then follow these top ten tips:

1          Gently stretch your muscles and ligaments for a few minutes before and after gardening, but don’t bend down to touch your toes – this can cause damage

2          Wear light, but warm clothes & make sure your lower back is always covered

3          Kneel on one leg rather than bending your back repeatedly

4          Use long handled tools to prune tall plants

5          Use only a small spade/fork for digging and keep your back gently hollowed

6          Do not always work to one side only, vary your position

7          Don’t do the same work for long periods, vary your tasks

8          Keep your back straight when carrying

9          When finished have a warm bath or shower

10         Do not sit for too long in your favourite armchair afterwards, but stand up regularly and walk around for a minute or two


Foods to fight aches and pains

It can be uncomfortable living with continuous aches and pains caused from inflammation.  However, there are foods that you can introduce into your diet that will help to heal and soothe your symptoms. Whether you’re struggling with joint pain or experiencing other types of physical aches, here are some examples of foods that you can easily introduce into your diet to help naturally.


Often used as a natural ingredient in medicine, this pungent root is probably best known for its anti-nausea, stomach soothing properties. However it can be utilised as an excellent arthritis and menstrual cramp remedy. Ginger can be found in a capsule as a replacement to over-the counter drugs like ibuprofen and help to relieve pain. 


Rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is considered heart healthy, and can relieve joint tenderness, especially if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. This is a nutritious source of protein that you can easily introduce into your diet.   Alternatively, other excellent cold-water fish that can be eaten that contain health benefits are tuna, sardines and mackerel. 


Fighting inflammation to help lessen pain, blueberries are extremely nutritious and easily introduced into your diet as a breakfast or fresh snacking staple. Not only do they help relieve symptoms of pain, they also help reduce stress, manage cholesterol and potentially reduce blood pressure. Fruit alternatives to blueberries that reap the same health benefits would be strawberries and oranges that also share anti-inflammatory properties that offer a soothing effect. 


Used as an alternative prescription painkiller, the natural effects of peppermint oil can help relieve painful cramps, gas and bloating. As well as being a comforting morning or evening drink, peppermint tea can be used as a remedy for upset stomachs. 

Chilli peppers:

Known for their painkilling properties, studies have shown that eating raw chillies may aid in reducing inflammation. Interestingly, eating them tricks your brain into releasing endorphins which block pain signals. These can be easily incorporated into your diet in moderation as a tasty garnish on your meals. 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 

As well as being an excellent provider of fats, extra virgin olive oil can also help with joint pain. Extra virgin olive oil has a compound in it called oleocanthal which helps to keep your joints moving smoothly and helps protect cartilage from breaking down. When cooking with olive oil, it is advised to cook at a lower temperature, less than 400 degrees, to ensure that you do not lose the health benefits. 


Spring into Health with Chiropractic Care

Spring is in the air, and it is time to get outside and enjoy it! With warmer weather around the corner, there will be an increase in outdoor sport activities. The best way to take full advantage of this season is to keep your health in tip top shape as well. Here are a few ways in which chiropractic care can help you to stay on top of your health and prepare you for the season ahead.

  • Regular chiropractic adjustments can help prevent injuries

No matter what type of outdoor activity you plan to take part in this spring, regular visits to your local chiropractor are helpful in reducing the risk of injury, ensuring you are not putting too much strain on your joints, and checking that your nervous system is functioning normally. Whether you are running, riding a bike, playing ball, gardening, or spending time outdoors with your kids, plan a visit to your doctor to learn the best practices to keep your muscles and joints healthy in order to reduce the risk of injury and pain.

  • Chiropractic care can help reduce the stress of a busy spring season

With warmer weather comes busier spring schedules. Whether your calendar is booked because you are spending more time with your kids as they have time off from school, or dealing with a busier work schedule, stress seems to be inevitable as the seasons change. Regular chiropractic care is a great way to reduce and prevent stress that can negatively affect your joints and overall health.

The bottom line is that in order to assure you get the most out of the spring season, and stay on top of your health, you need to take care of yourself. 


The 21st century ailment: ‘Text Neck’

It is estimated that around 94% of adults in Europe & the US own a mobile phone. This means that 94% of the population are at risk of ‘text neck’. Text neck can occur just by tilting the head downwards by 2-3cm to look at your phone screen. It has also been found that when tilting your head forward by this amount, the effective weight of your head increases to 30kg – equivalent to the weight of an average eight-year-old child!

Text neck can result in severe upper back strain, shoulder pain and tightness in both shoulders. It can also possibly cause permanent damage in young, growing children, which may in turn lead to lifelong neck pain.

Follow these helpful tips to reduce your risk of ‘text neck’:

  • try to hold your phone as close to eye level as possible. The same goes for people working in an office who need to use a computer for the majority of the day – ensure that your screen is completely in line with your eyes, to ensure you are not straining your neck to look at the screen.
  • If you work in an office, be sure to take a quick stretch break every half an hour or so, to ensure that your back and neck won’t stiffen.
  • Try these simple exercises to relieve pain stemming from text neck, the downward-facing dog is a common exercise to relieve shoulder and upper back pain, however the ‘exaggerated nod’ might be more effective. Simply look up to the ceiling, let your jaw relax and open your mouth, keep your head here and bring your lower jaw to your upper jaw.

Be sure to visit local chiropractor if you are experiencing any ‘text neck’ symptoms because if left untreated, it can potentially lead to inflammation of the neck ligaments and increased curvature of the spine.


Avoid the one shoulder bag

Heavy, one shoulder bags are among some of the most popular types of bags to wear, but they actually come with many health risks. Holding the wrong bag can negatively affect your back more than you know. One-shoulder bags can leave you with chronic muscle pain, headaches, migraines, spinal damage, and even pinched nerves.

It is recommended to use a backpack because they evenly distribute the weight you are carrying on your back. It is important to remember to never carry more than 5-10% of your body weight.

If you are insistent on wearing a one shoulder bag, the smaller the better. Wearing a large bag hanging off of one shoulder can cause the upper trapezius muscle to begin to shrug. This happens as the shoulder adapts to the increased load.

Because the muscle attaches onto the base of the skull and extends across the entire length of the neck, there is potential to cause not only neck pain, but tension headaches as well. 

With time, wearing these types of bags can lead to a straightening of the natural backward C–shaped curve in your neck. This change in shape alters the weight distribution on the discs, putting more pressure on the joints leading to inflammation, osteoarthritis, and nerve compression.

If you find yourself still wearing a one shoulder bag, try and switch sides as frequently as possible. This helps to distribute the weight. Also, opt for a thick strap over a thin strap to resist it cutting into the shoulder


Better Energy

Many people feel tired or run-down at some point during the day. A lack of energy could affect your daily activities and make you less productive. The type and quantity of food you eat play an essential role in determining your energy levels during the day. A few simple changes in your diet may be all you need to get back to your brighter self. Give yourself an energy overhaul with the following tips.

Eat every three hours

Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a healthy snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon, with no longer than three hours between. This will stop those cravings for sweet foods. Keeping snacks such as vegetable sticks and hummus or peanut butter and oatcakes to hand will help you to resist sugary hits and keep your energy stable.

Drink up

It is important to regularly top up your liquid levels, to help you to feel more alert and focused, and to get rid of any brain fog. Our bodies are mostly made up of water, so replenishing during the day helps to keep us feeling our best. Aim to drink two litres of water throughout the day.

Power up with protein

Instead of carbohydrate-loaded cereals, switch to a lean protein source for breakfast. Protein takes longer to digest, so it will keep you fuller for longer, and also helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Try eggs, salmon and avocado to start the day. A protein-focused lunch will also help to curb the notorious afternoon dip, and a protein shake will keep your energy steady.

Be clever with sugar

If you are craving sweets all the time, swap to something with less sugar. Try eating dark chocolate, which you might be less prone to eating too much of. That’s because milk chocolate is mostly sugar and milk solids, but dark chocolate is richer in cocoa and satisfying after a square or two. Berries are also a good choice as they have sugar, but the fibre will help “buffer” the sugar high to prevent energy levels from rising and falling.

Choose wholegrain

Start buying wholegrain alternatives for your bread, pasta and rice. Whole grains release energy slowly as their carbohydrates break down slowly over several hours so that they do not suddenly flood the bloodstream with sugar. Also, this gradual release helps you feel fuller for a longer time, suppresses your appetite and stops you craving sweet foods.

Aim for more vitamins

Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will help you add important nutrients and good bacteria to your digestive tract. It is important to eat such foods as broccoli and cauliflower as they are full of micronutrients, antioxidants and fibre. If you find that your eyelids are hanging in the middle of the morning, choose fruit as a snack. Peeling and eating the fruit with its invigorating aroma will give you a pickup.


Sleeping with Lower Back Pain

Millions of people throughout the world deal with negative effects of lower back pain which can come about for a multitude of reasons including exercise, work, chronic illnesses, bad posture, standing for long periods of time and even sleep.

When you go to sleep, you lose conscious control over your body and you can potentially end up tucking your pelvis in or twisting your spine.  Any existing back pains can get further aggravated, resulting in a restless night.

Here are some sleeping tips that can help prevent stresses on your spine, keep your back relaxed and create a healing environment.

Buy a good pillow

Be sure to have a pillow that supports both the head and the neck. Finding the right pillow is crucial in keeping your spine in complete alignment throughout the night. Make sure the pillow is sturdy enough that your neck is aligned with the rest of your spine, while sleeping on your back or side. Be sure the space beneath your neck is completely filled to support its curve. Double check that the pillow is firm enough to support this alignment throughout your sleep.

Find a good sleeping position

An important element in dealing with lower back pains while resting is your sleeping position. You want to be mindful of your spine’s resting position and try your best to keep it neutral.

Sleeping in the fetal position with knees drawn towards the chest at 90 degrees, is a good sleeping position. Sleeping on your side also helps keep the neck in line with your spine. Keeping a pillow between your knees also helps to stabilise the hips. If you prefer to sleep on your back, be sure to properly align your body from head to toe and prop your knees up with a small pillow.

You can also take a reclined position by keeping one leg straight and the other one bent at the knee. This slight incline helps to relieve disc problems. A shallow pillow also helps to reduce back pressure. 

Don’t stay in one position all night

Don’t be scared of switching your sleeping position throughout the night. It’s natural — and desired — to move some during your sleep. All sleeping position, even if it’s an acceptable one, can put too much pressure on your back if you stay there all night.

Select the right mattress

Overly soft or firm mattresses can potentially cause lower back pain and aches in other parts of the body. A medium-firm mattress is generally accepted as a well-supportive option. It has an even surface and reduces body aches and pains.

Restorative sleep is crucial when trying to reduce your back pain. Learning how to sleep with lower back pain can take some time to get used to. Keep in mind these tips to help you get more restful, repairing sleep each night.