Neck Pain & Modern Living
At Peoria’s Chiropractor offices in Fletcher Heights, we have been serving the people of the valley for since 2007 and our mission is to offer you, our patients the latest advances in Chiropractic care.
Education for our patients is vital as a preventative step and we have produced a guide to the “Text neck” pain problem we see regularly in our office.
Modern Living Causes Pain
It has been estimated in recent study, that the average person in the USA will spend on average 7 hours per day in front of a screen of some description, or actually texting or checking emails using a smart phone. On average young Americans will send around 70 text messages per day alone. The USA is not even the highest screen time user, a title which is claimed by Indonesia at 9 hours per day.
How to Avoid “Text Neck” Syndrome
It is therefore unsurprising that a direct correlation has been drawn by chiropractors and the medical profession as a whole, which patients are starting to present to chiropractic offices with acute and chronic neck pain syndromes, caused by overuse of these devices.
The Effects of Overuse On The Neck
There are several effects that may occur after prolonged device use and these often include;
Headaches, neck and back pain & radiating arm pain
Other Affects also include:
Altered posture, with the head carried forward of the center of gravity
Rounded appearance of the shoulders
Tension in the muscles of the upper back and neck
Cluster Headaches – Pain occurring at the base of the skull which may radiate to several different locations such as the side or top of the head or around the eyes.
Pain in the shoulder region- this may radiate into the upper and lower arms and or hand.
If the situation is allowed to continue, the condition may become chronic and require extended treatment to resolve the pain syndrome.
Why Does Text Neck Syndrome Occur?
In simple terms, using a screen will for the most part cause the head to be held outside its optimal center of gravity of the user. The ideal center of gravity is upright and in line with the shoulders and causes the least strain on the joints and muscles.
Holding the head outside of the optimal position, puts a great deal of strain on the muscles of the neck and upper back causing fatigue, strain and over time, changes to the muscles and tissues themselves. This is turn restricts movement in the neck and over a very long period can cause neck joints to become much less mobile and even cause arthritic changes.
The average person’s head weighs approximately 10 lbs and when upright and in line with the shoulders, the neck muscles are doing as little work as possible, to stabilize the head.
When the head is angled forwards, the forces upon the neck joints and muscles magnify considerably due to gravity and the muscles have to work around twice as hard for every inch forward of a neutral center of gravity.
It is no wonder then, that after many hours at a screen, especially laptops and worse still smart phones, that most people will feel fatigued and have some sort of neck discomfort.
How To Stop Text Neck Syndrome in 3 steps
- Being aware of optimal posture is the key to correcting the issue, combined with short term chiropractic care and a long term strategy to strengthen weak and imbalanced muscle development.
Ergonomic assessment of your workstation is also an essential part of avoiding long term neck issues and also being aware of your posture when using your smart phone.
- The muscles of the upper mid back are often imbalanced with those of the chest and this leads to a forward head posture and rounded shoulders. Strengthening these muscles using exercises prescribed by your Chiropractor will correct this issue.
- Gentle, Specific Chiropractic Neck Adjustments
There are seven vertebrae in the cervical spine and movement is shared between them in varying proportions.
The Chiropractors at our Peoria office after a thorough assessment and history will determine the range of motion at each level and make the appropriate, painless and gentle neck adjustments to regain normal movement as soon as possible.
This combined with muscular re-training and correction of the postural and ergonomic issues will ensure that “Text Neck” does not become a long term problem.
Contact us now for advice or to make an appointment.