Is your phone being a pain in the neck?

If your kids (and you) are anything like me and mine, you spend a lot of time on your phone.  How many times a day do you remind your kids to ‘sit up straight’ or to ‘get off their phone.’  There is no denying that technology has transformed the way we live, but we are spending more and more time glued to our mobile devices.

Some estimates have adults spending well over 2 hours per day on their mobile device (86hrs per month) and teenagers and college-age adults upwards of 5 hrs. or more.

Within five minutes of waking up in the morning  at least 1/3 of us check our phones, and over 2/3 use phones during mealtimes with family and friends.2 This excessive reliance on digital devices is taking a toll on our bodies.

The relative weight of your head can go from 10 pounds to 40 pounds!

Looking down hunched over mobile devices puts excessive strain on the neck which can cause neck pain.  Just by looking at your phone the relative weight of your head goes from 10lbs to 40lbs.

Is Tech Neck a Modern Epidemic?

More and more Canadians are suffering from ‘Tech Neck’ – this refers to neck pain and damage from looking down at mobile devices for prolonged periods. Staring down at your phone can put significant pressure on your neck and spine. It causes fatigue in the muscles and ligaments and can lead not only to neck and upper back pain but also headaches. Young athletes can be robbed of performance by poor and slouching posture.

There is no need to shun all technology. Changing a few habits can make a big difference in improving your spinal health and overall well-being. Here are some tips to help avoid text neck and other spinal health issues resulting from poor posture and excessive use of mobile devices:

 Change the way you hold your phone – bring the screen to eye level, so that your head is not slouched forward. This way you don’t have to be in a forward-head posture for long periods of time.
 Take regular breaks from mobile devices. For example, don’t check your phone while commuting.
 Get social with family or friends. Have a ‘no phone policy’ during dinner. You’ll enjoy your meal even more without the distraction!
 Chiro can help  there are several exercises that we give to our patients that are very helpful, also making sure the neck and upper back are moving and are adjusted can make all the difference.

Ask one of us at Sun Chiropractic how we can help and what exercises you can do to help counteract all the time you spend looking down at your phone.

Depending on your circumstances, your chiropractor may suggest a variety of techniques to help improve range of motion and function and will develop a program of care that may combine more than one type of treatment, depending on your needs. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, a care plan may include mobilization, massage, rehabilitative exercise, as well as dietary and lifestyle advice.

Dr. Russell Baron


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