By Dr. Beau Horner
Now more than ever, we are reliant on our technology tools like smartphones, tablets and computers. Especially now that many parents and kids are working or distance learning from home, we can find ourselves sitting in front of a computer screen for too long.
These new tech tools can make our lives easier in some ways, but they can definitely be the cause of your neck and upper back pain and even headaches. From texting, emails, social media, browsing the world wide web, we can spend hours looking downward. This year, the CDC came out with a study showing that we are averaging 7.5 hours of screen time a day.
When the head is positioned down, or flexed forward, you are altering the biomechanics of your spine. This creates an unnatural angle on your neck and develops into poor posture. This poor posture is also referred to as having an “anterior head carriage.” Every time we hold this unnatural position for a prolonged period we increase the pressure in the joints and discs of our cervical spine. This is when we start experience neck and upper back pain and often headaches.
Here are some tips that can help relieve some of the damage done from poor posture:
1. Take frequent breaks from your phone, tablet or computer. Set aside specific times in the day to check your emails, social media accounts or any other thing that requires access to the internet.
2. Elevating your phone to eye level can help decrease the discomfort in your neck and upper back.
3. Be more aware of your posture. Try squeezing your shoulder blades closer together and pulling your chin inward to avoid hunching.
4. Include some neck exercises and stretches throughout the day. For example, chin retractions can help strengthen the muscles in
the neck. Practice sitting up straight, shoulder blades together and bringing your chin inward, hold the position for 3-5 seconds and then
5. Set a timer for the amount of time you want to spend on your phone, tablet or computer.
Dr. Beau Horner is a licensed chiropractor. He provides patient-specific treatment plans that incorporate the use of chiropractic, physical therapy techniques, soft-tissue therapies, nutritional and ergonomic counseling, and home exercises to provide the most time-efficient and effective plan to treat patients with a variety of conditions. His office accepts most medical insurances, auto accident cases, and workers’ compensation cases. For more information, visit drbeauchiropractor.com.