As we become increasingly reliant on technology many of us spend a large amount of time looking at computers, televisions and smart phones. This is causing poor neck posture and lack of dynamic movement which can lead to a dysfunctional neck.
The reason for this is that as the neck becomes more dysfunctional there is an increase of stress onto the joints and muscles leading to stiffness and pain. Long term dysfunction of the neck can even lead to conditions such as headaches, migraines or shoulder and arm pain caused by irritation of the spinal nerves.
Earlier this week a photographer released pictures showing just how much we use our phones and tablets in everyday life. It’s interesting to highlight the poor postures that people can adopt - notice all the heads are looking down? This will only add more pressure onto the neck. The post also highlights the psychosocial aspect of being technology dependent, which is food for thought in regards to overall wellbeing. After all, we should all try and have a digital detox from time to time.
Of course technology is extremely useful and is only going to become more integral in our lives. We just need to make sure we keep our bodies happy and healthy with lots of movement! It’s important that we counteract these poor postures by spending more time being physically active and seeking Chiropractic care if needed.
How can Chiropractic help?
Neck pain is one of the most common reasons why people seek Chiropractic care. Chiropractors look into restoring the function of the neck through spinal adjustments, massage and exercises. They also take into consideration the whole body, ergonomics and lifestyle factors.
Common neck complaints include:
· Acute neck injury and/or arm pain (e.g., whiplash)
· Poor ergonomic/postural stiffness and pain
· Osteoarthritis related stiffness and pain
· Acute pseudotorticollis (severe painful limitation of all neck movement)
Remember pain only occurs during the latter stages of dysfunction. Stiffness is also just a lower form of pain. It is best to prevent the pain from happening in the first place through being active, better ergonomics and getting chiropractic adjustments.
Written by Simon Leung, Chiropractor at the Honor Oak Wellness Rooms
Research supporting chiropractic care for neck pain:
In a study funded by NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to test the effectiveness of different approaches for treating mechanical neck pain, 272 participants were divided into three groups that received either spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) from a doctor of chiropractic (DC), pain medication (over-the-counter pain relievers, narcotics and muscle relaxants) or exercise recommendations. After 12 weeks, about 57 percent of those who met with DCs and 48 percent who exercised reported at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, compared to 33 percent of the people in the medication group. After one year, approximately 53 percent of the drug-free groups continued to report at least a 75 percent reduction in pain; compared to just 38 percent pain reduction among those who took medication. -- Bronfort et al. (2012), Annals of Internal Medicine