Does the posture kneeling chair reduce the risk of back pain?


In the lower back the lumber spine maintains a curvature known as the lumbar lordosis, which balances the compressive forces through the spine, between the lumbar discs and the facet joints.

In the sitting posture the lumbar spine straightens and consequently these compressive forces are disproportionately managed by the disc.  For those who sit for long periods at a desk, it can be very difficult not to slump.  This in turn can cause a reverse curve in the lumbar spine and therefore increase the stress through the discs even more, which can cause dehydration and fatigue of the disc, ultimately leading to degeneration and pain.

The disc is made up of a fibrous outer layer the annulus fibrosis and a gel nucleus. Increased force through the disc can lead to tearing of the annular fibres allowing the nucleus to prolapse posteriorly. The posterior outer fibres of the disc contain pain receptors that can be activated by continuous strain through the disc.  The postural muscles of the lower back also contain pain receptors, which can become active as the these muscles fatigue under the strain of the compression to the spine  If the outer fibres of the disc are breached, the nucleus will enter the spinal canal where the spinal cord is housed or reticular canal, where the nerve roots are housed. This can cause major irritation to the membranes covering these structures, causing severe back and leg pain, often referred to as sciatica.


The anatomy of the spine is not really designed to be in a seated posture for long periods.  Ancient civilisations and indigenous populations of today, tend to squat, rather than sit.  In the squat position the lower back adopts the lumbar lordosis of the standing posture and balances the compressive forces through the discs and facet joints reducing the risk of degenerative changes and pain.


It is important therefore for those that sit for long periods to use an ergonomic chair that promotes good posture.  There is debate as to whether the kneeling posture chair is better suited to this role than the straight back chair.  Studies are mixed on the superior benefits of the kneeling posture chair which is designed to share the strain of sitting through the shins and the buttocks, so as to reduce the compressive forces through the lumbar spine.  One study found that the posture kneeling chair allowed the lumbar spine to adopt a curvature closer to that of standing posture, during sitting, typing and writing.  It suggested that this may aid treatment of lower back injury.   This design ensures the thighs are dropped to an angle of 60-70 degrees from vertical, whereas in a straight back chair the thighs are at 90 degrees.  This modification in the angle of the thighs tilts the pelvis to promote the standing lumbar curvature.

How Essential is Water for Health?


Dehydration is the greatest stress to the body on both a global and a cellular level. Water is essential for life. All processes require a plentiful supply of water for optimal function whether it is industrial or physiological. Without a plentiful supply of water, processes grind to a halt.

The composition of the body is mainly water about 75% with the remaining 25% comprising of proteins, minerals and fat.

Percentage water composition by body parts:

• Brain 85%
• Lungs 80%
• Liver 73%
• Skin 71%
• Heart 77%
• Kidneys 80%
• Muscles 73%
• Blood 79%
• Bone 22%
• Teeth 10%

On average the body requires about six to eight glasses that is two to two and a half litre of water a day . Urine should be clear, or straw coloured. If it is yellow you are dehydrated. The intensity of the yellow is a good indicator of the level of dehydration. Thirst is a late sign of dehydration and at this point the body is under stress and consequently is not able to function at optimum levels. It is wise not to wait to be thirsty to drink water, but to hydrate the body in measured amounts over the day. This will be affected by environmental temperature, humidity and the degree to which you lose water as a result of exercise.

It is also important to note that whole foods which were designed for the human body; ripe fruits and fresh vegetables contain a high percentage of water, which helps hydrate the body. Processed foods are generally stripped of their water, along with their nutrients, and causes dehydration due to the high levels of processed salt, sugar and man-made carbohydrates that they contain.

When the body is dehydrated the brain can receive a hunger signal instead of one for thirst. This is because as the human brain, nervous system and body was evolving, the body would get a high percentage of it’s water from the foods we ate, since fresh water would at times be difficult to come by. Fast forward to present day living where the standard UK diet is highly processed and devoid of water, then these hunger signals contribute to even further dehydration and the added consequence of weight gain and obesity.

Increasing evidence indicates that even mild dehydration plays a role in the development of many diseases and pain syndromes. When you understand just how crucial water is to life this starts to make sense.

When the body is experiencing drought conditions, there is a hierarchy of needs for water. The brain and nervous system get first call on the available supply followed by the vital organs. This would make sense as these organ systems ensure survival of the organism.

At the bottom of the hierarchical pile are the bones, the muscles and connective tissue (comprising our joints) and the skin. If you are not yet aware, the majority of our sensory receptors which include our pain receptors are located in all of these tissues. They allow the brain to monitor any changes to the environment that may represent a potential threat to the organism, so that it can initiate an appropriate response by way of the nervous system to the skeletal muscles, to move away from the threatening stimulus. In a dehydrated state there is an increase in toxic substances which stimulate the pain receptors, and thus lead to acute and chronic pain states, particularly of the muscle and skeletal system.

The intervertebral discs are a major part of the muscle and skeletal system. They act as shock absorbers for the spine and are composed of a fibrous outer layer and a gel nucleus. They require an abundance of water as they support the weight of the body by hydraulic pressure. The gel nucleus is mainly water and supports about 75% of body weight. If the body is dehydrated, and because the disc is low on the hierarchical scale for water, it quickly dries and fails to support body weight adequately. This leads to drying of the discs and the supporting muscles and connective tissue. If this drought state persists the movement pattern of the discs and other joints become faulty, leading to weakness, stiffness and hypersensitivity of the pain receptors. If this turns into a persistent chronic dehydrated state then degenerative changes occur to the discs and joints and physiological changes occur to the muscles and connective tissue.

Connective tissue runs throughout the body and does exactly what it says. It connects the body tissues together. It is comprised of three compound:

• Collagen fibres that give it structure and strength.
• Elastin which allows for flexibility.
• Ground substance which is a watery substance that nurtures and nourishes the tissue.

If the body is dehydrated the collagen fibres weaken, the elastin is depleted leading to stiffening of the tissue, and the ground substance becomes very gelatinous, compromising it’s nurturing function.
Overall the tissue that holds the body together becomes weakened, more rigid and under nourished. This is a forerunner to chronic degenerative changes and chronic pain syndromes.

There is no substitute for water. Caffeinated drinks are diuretics and make us lose more water than we take in. Sugared drinks reduce the availability of the water between the cells, as when glucose (sugar) is taken up by the cells water follows. Artificially sweetened water poses a serious risk to the body’ as the artificial sweeteners metabolise into compounds that are known to be toxic and can cause neurological damage leading to chronic fatigue states, seizures and brain tumours, to mention but a few.

Water is essential in reducing risk of all illnesses including diabetes, allergies, pain syndromes, inflammatory and degenerative diseases. For a more comprehensive understanding of the therapeutic and physiological effects of water see Dr. F Batmanghelidj book Your Body’s Many Cries For Water.

As a footnote – be aware that too much water is also detrimental to health, as it can lead to hyponatreamia (lowered sodium levels), a condition whereby your cells swell due to an increase in water. This is particularly dangerous if it affects the brain cells. It is therefore important to regulate your sodium intake and a dab of rock salt or sea salt on the tounge can be beneficial. It is important however if you are sufferring with high blood pressure and on a low salt diet to discuss this with your medical doctor first.

The best way to monitor your level of hydration is to monitor the colour of your urine and then drink water accordingly.

Tips for Staying Healthy

  • Drink 6 to 8 cups of water a day (that’s 2 to 2.5 litres). There is no substitute.
  • Build up to 20 minutes of sun on 40% of your skin surface daily during the summer. This is how we make Vitamin D3. Don’t burn!
  • Take moderate exercise, a brisk walk daily for between 20 to 40 minutes.
  • Get plenty of fresh air and stay in touch with nature.
  • Eat a whole food diet, low in calories and high in nutrition (2000 calories for women, 2500 calories for men – use as a guide).
  • Love life and develop loving relationships.
  • If all else fails, consult your chiropractor.

Reducing Postural Stress

  • Sit back into your chair. Your chair should have a bottom cushion short enough for your buttocks to reach the backrest while your back is erect.
  • When sitting ensure that your hips, elbows (when flexed to 90 degrees), shoulders and ears are in vertical alignment to achieve best sitting posture. Use a back support that gently shapes your back when sitting if necessary.
  • Ensure your feet are flat on the floor; otherwise you are likely to slump forward. Use a footrest if necessary.
  • Adjust your chair height so that the underside of your elbows are at desk height and can rest on the desk surface when the elbows are flexed to 90 degrees and are in vertical alignment with the shoulders.
  • Ensure that your monitor is directly in front of you, 50-70 cm distance from your eyes and the top of the monitor at eye level, to reduce eyestrain and neck strain.
  • If using a laptop, use a raising devise with separate keyboard attachment to achieve optimal positioning.
  • Ensure you take plenty of breaks away from your workstation, 2-5 minutes at a time and stretch and mobilise your shoulders, neck and upper back to relieve any tension.

Nutrition’s Role in Healing Pain


Most of us are aware that good nutrition is vital to health and well-being.   However did you know?  What we eat can help get us out of pain, or can contribute to pain in the muscles and the connective tissue of the body.

Unfortunately much of the population tend to lead lives of over consumption and under nutrition.  The vitamins and minerals in our foods are essential for the proper metabolism in our body.

The standard UK diet is highly processed,  high in sugar, salt and trans-fat.  These ingredients cause oxidative stress (internal stresses related to our biochemistry).

Oxidadative stress is due to free radical production.  Free radicals are very reactive molecules that attack the tissues of the body leading to chronic systemic low grade inflamation in the body, ultimately causing degenerative changes and disease.  Free radicals also stimulate pain receptors in the muscle and connective tissue. This is why many chronic pain conditions become chronic in the first place.

Free radicals are mopped up by anti-oxidants.  The body produces some anti-oxidants itself, but most are ingested in our foods.  Examples of anti-oxidants are vitamins.  Therefore it is important to eat a whole food diet rich in vitamins and minerals.

If we eat junk food we make junk parts.

Be aware of the food you eat.

Is your diet abundant in nutrients?

Or is your diet inflammatory.?

You are what you eat at the end of the day.

Magnesium Helps Reduce Back Pain


Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. It is essential for life and deficiency is implicated in a plethora of health problems.

Magnesium is no longer as plentiful in the foods we eat due to depletion in the soils as a consequence of modern intensive farming practice.

Magnesium regulates more than 325 enzymes in the body, the most important, produce, transport, store and utilise energy.

Magnesium is essential for proper muscle function. Deficiency can lead to muscle spasm and pain. It is nature’s muscle relaxant as it acts as a calcium channel blocker to prevent over contraction of both skeletal and smooth muscles.

Skeletal muscle spasm causes back pain, neck pain, headaches and many more painful conditions. Smooth muscle spasm can cause migraines, strokes and heart problems by disrupting blood flow.

Optimising magnesium levels is also vital to reduce the risk of a many other serious conditions, including:

Anxiety and panic attacks Asthma Blood clots Bowel disease Cystitis Depression Detoxification Diabetes Fatigue Heart disease Hypertension Nerve pain Obstetrical and gynaecological problems Osteoporosis Raynaud’s Syndrome Tooth decay

If you would like further information please call our clinic today.

Chiropractor Basingstoke – Basingstoke Chiropractic


Chiropractor Basingstoke

Basingstoke Chiropractic Wellness Centre is the place to go to get out of pain and take your well-being to the next level

Chiropractor Callum Sibbald is passionate about helping people move out of pain and achieve better levels of health.

With over 10 years’ experience as a chiropractor, he uses his knowledge of chiropractic, exercise science, nutrition and wellbeing to help the body heal from a catalogue of painful conditions, including; back, neck and shoulder pain, headaches, migraines and sciatica, to name but a few.

Chiropractor Basingstoke is synonymous with getting out of pain.

Call today to arrange an appointment:
01256 636 364 or 07980 632 881

Oxidative Stress


Oxidative stress can contribute to chronic muscle and joint pain.  Conditions such as fibromialgia almost always have a component of oxidative stress.  Basingstoke chiropractor Callum Sibbald  treats a broad range of muscle and joint pain in Basingstoke resulting from oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is the stress on the internal workings of the body, caused by the production of free radicals, which are produced during the process of respiration.

Respiration occurs at a cellular level.  Not to be mistaken with the breathing in of air into the lungs, which is also termed respiration.  This process involves the combustion of oxygen with glucose by what are known as the mitochondria of the cell. Theses structures are the energy centres of the cells that produce the life force the gives vitality to the body.

A by-product of respiration are free radicals.  These are very reactive entities that react with and attack the cells of the body and cause inflammation and over enough time degeneration of the tissues and organs.  This is the mechanism behind many of the autoimmune and degenerative diseases of the body.

A healthy diet should be rich in vitamins, minerals and essential fats.  These act to mop up the free radicals and restore balance to the body, in so doing, reducing the risk of poor health.

An abundance of free radicals can stimulate pain receptors in the skeletal muscles and contribute to chronic muscle and joint pain. These pains can refer to other parts of the body such as the legs and the arms.  This in turn can lead to muscle weakness and joint stiffness and long term pain patterns.

For a chiropractor in Basingstoke, who understands the devastating effect of oxidative stress, Basingstoke Chiropractic can help through a combination of muscle and joint therapy and antioxidant therapy.