Could Your Devices Be Ruining Your Cervical Spine?
It’s called “Tech Neck”, and it refers to posture problems in the cervical spine that are created by prolonged use of a cell phone, laptop, tablet or similar device. Using small electronics usually means you spend a lot of time with your head bent forward. It is affecting children more and more as well.
That means your neck is in an abnormal position, creating stress in the neck joints and muscles used to keep your head in an awkward downward tilt. This can cause muscle spasms and stress headaches and fatigue.
Seeing a chiropractor regularly for adjustments can keep irritation and misalignment at bay, and possibly keep the patient from experiencing pain associated with “Tech Neck”.
There are a couple different ways to avoid pain associated with device usage. The best way is to adjust your viewing angle by putting the device on a stand or table. If you must work with it on your lap, consider propping it on a pillow.
A natural adjustment to try and make is to hold it up level to your face… but beware, this will only cause pain in the forearms.
Simple things to try to avoid tech neck and even neck pain are simply staying physically fit and taking regular breaks from your devices. Stretch every so often, walk around at least once an hour, and it might be considered to try a posture exercise program.
When the spine is in a neutral position the head weighs 10-12 pounds. When it is tilted at a 15 degree angle, the neck sees 27 pounds of pressure. When at a 45 degree angle, the neck sees 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees, 60 pounds of pressure.
The upper part of the neck is normally curved to allow plenty or space to pass through the neck and out into the body. When that space is crunched, it can cause major problems, even causing pain to radiate into the fingers. There’s also a bundle of nerves in the area between the neck and shoulders. Any compression, irritation, misalignment, muscle spasms or tension in this area can cause pain. When the neck gets stressed over time, it causes wear and tear on the spine, and even conditions such as slipped or herniated discs, requiring physical therapy or surgery.
Most people in this day and time use some sort of device for work or entertainment every day, and will at one point or another stress their spine. If this sounds like you or someone you know in the Knoxville area, call Dr. Bell at Bell Family Chiropractic today to schedule your exam and adjustment.