Are you suffering from neck or upper back pain with no apparent cause? If you answered yes, your first thought may be to look up the cause on your smartphone. However, prolonged use of your mobile phone could be the cause of your pain.
On average, Australians spend over 10 hours engaging with their mobile devices every day. Although the invention of smartphones has improved many aspects of our everyday lives, it has also brought with it an increase in the number of patients with neck pain, disc hernias, and alignment problems due to prolonged use of smartphones.
What Can You Do?
There are a number of simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of neck and back pain caused by using your smartphone and other handheld devices including:
Holding Your Phone At Eye Level
One way to reduce neck pain when using a smartphone is by holding the phone at eye level. This is helpful as the average human head weighs approximately 5 kgs when held in a normal posture. However, the weight of the head can increase by more than five times its normal weight as the head is bent forward¹. This additional weight can cause excessive strain on the neck which can lead to neck pains and muscle spasms.
Taking Regular Breaks
Another way to reduce the risk of neck pain from prolonged smartphone use is by taking regular breaks. This can be as simple as not checking your phone while commuting or having a no phone rule at meal times. Additionally, returning your head to an upright position every 15 minutes while using a handheld device will also help to reduce the risk of neck pain.
For most people, mobile phones have become an integral part of everyday life. However, this has resulted in prolonged periods of time where the neck is craned over to look at a phone screen.
To reduce the stress to your neck caused by excessive use of your mobile phone, consider limiting your use. For example, you could limit your mobile phone use to productive activities, such as answering emails and keeping in touch with loved ones, rather than spending time on games or other entertainment applications that can take up hours of your day.
There are a number of simple exercises that you can do to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your neck and shoulders. Contact your local chiropractor for more information on exercises that are safe for you.
How Can Chiropractic Care Help?
Chiropractic care for neck pain begins with a thorough functional, neurological and orthopaedic assessment in order to determine the underlying cause of the problem. Your chiropractor will then design a treatment plan for you based on your needs. Treatment for neck pain can consist of chiropractic adjustments in combination with at home exercises and suggested lifestyle modifications.
If you’re suffering from neck pain, contact your local Brisbane chiropractor at Back To Front Chiropractic. We use the same care and consideration we would afford our own family members on each patient we treat, so you can rest assured that you and your loved ones will be well cared for. Call Back To Front Chiropractic today on 07 3393 2201 and ask us about our new patient offer.
¹ Lanman T., et al (2017) “Text Neck”: an epidemic of the modern era of cell phones