Most patients start their story the same way, “I don’t remember doing anything to my neck so why is it sore?” or “All I did was wake up and it was there so I must have slept funny”. Few people think about their daily habits and how they use their neck – or as I prefer to say “abuse their neck.”
If people had an app to measure how many hours they spend looking down, called neck flexion, each day they might be alarmed. They only think of work hours but discount the personal or social hours of use on email, social media, ordering online goods and watching video – did I miss a few others?
No secret that our phones are our connection to the rest of the world, even if they’re in the next room! Also no secret that youngsters and millennials are using those devices far more than the rest of us, perhaps two or three times.
So what’s the harm? Are smartphones and tablets harmful to our health?
You bet and it comes in the form of Forward Head Posture, the latest epidemic of the western world. This is where computers start to rule you and you don’t even know your body is changing in response. If you had suffered neck stiffness, headache, neck pain and poor posture, reduced neck movement or flexibility, tension around the back of the head and pain between the shoulder blades, you likely have Forward Head Posture.
If you have pains in the upper limbs, pins and needles or numbness in the hands or fingers, weakness of the hands or difficulty sleeping due to referred discomfort in your upper limbs, it’s extremely likely you have Forward Head Posture. The longer it’s present the more likely you will develop a disc bulge or compensation in your body.
If you note slouched posture in yourself or others, this is a sign of Forward Head Posture and a chiropractic checkup is indicated. The more ingrained the poor posture, the harder it is to change. Some young teens have no clue how they look when they stand and sit. It ain’t pretty and the lack of symptoms is deceiving. It’s only a matter of time before symptoms begin if their posture is poor.
It’s possible that mobile devices are not the only cause. Text neck is the term given to overuse of neck flexion relating to notebooks, tablets and phones but it could be from poor posture at the desk and computer or from other bad habits. There are so many factors that can come into play that we often discuss in ergonomics.
Can chiropractic care help?
Whether it’s text neck, whiplash, sleeping on the couch or too much time holding the phone under your chin, a chiropractic check up will find the problem. A chiropractor is trained to examine the neck, nerves and muscles to determine the cause of pain and correct joint imbalance or misalignments commonly called subluxation by chiropractors.
It’s our belief that correct diagnosis comes before settling for pain relief so before you end up abusing your body with medications, spending all your money on massages and getting the wrong advice, call us on 9509 7691 to find out if text neck is your problem and what to do about it. Our Armadale and Doncaster clinics are open most days of the week and you can book online from this website.