Neck pain is the second most common complaint presenting at chiropractors offices. Here at Kew Chiropractic Centre, we have seen an upturn in neck pain complaints in the last few years. One reason for this is our greater use of technology.
A recent study published in ‘The Spine Journal’ showed that almost 80% of the population between the ages of 18 and 44 claim they carry their mobile phones for over 90% of their waking day. The stress of constantly looking down leads to a host of problems including one called ‘text neck’ or tech neck’.
Why is looking down at our phones a problem?
Research shows that the average head weighs approximately 4.5 to 5 kilograms. When looking straight in front of you that weight is resting on top of your spine and is supported well by the muscles, vertebrae and discs from your neck. For every 15 degrees of neck flexion (Looking down), we add the equivalent of another 4.5-15 kilograms worth of pressure on our spine.
How does this extra pressure on our neck cause neck pain?
Hundreds to thousands of hours of looking down at your phone, computer, laptop or tablet contribute to this extra pressure and may manifest in abnormal neck curve, spinal dysfunction, neck muscle strains and disc degeneration.
What can we do about technology, neck pain and chiropractic?
Chiropractic care for neck pain remains one of the most important and effective interventions to minimize and reverse the negative effects of looking down at technology. Chiropractors can help to remove stresses resulting in neck pain that has built up throughout the spine. A chiropractor can help with your neck pain by mobilizing your spinal joints. This may involve joint manipulations, stretching and strengthening your neck muscles and advising you on proper ergonomic setups.
What can I do about my neck pain?
- Rather than dropping your gaze down to your phone, try bringing the screen up to eye level.
- For computer setups. Sit with your knees and hips bent at slightly greater than 90 degrees and have the top of your computer screen at eye level.
- Limit the time spent on your phone and computer.
- Take regular breaks to stand up, walk around and look up rather than down when taking these breaks.
- Ask your chiropractor to show you some neck and upper back stretches to reverse the postural strain from looking down.
- Sometimes we need help! Much like a car needs to go in for a service, our spines should be checked regularly by a chiropractor.
If you are suffering from neck pain then be sure to book an appointment at Kew Chiropractic Centre today! You can make a booking by calling on 98531100 or by going online at www.kewchiro.com.au