Pain in the neck – Tech neck

A new phenomenon is in the works in our wireless, handheld world. More and more people are complaining about neck and back pain, and headaches caused by the constant strain of looking down at their electronic devices. Think about it- no matter where you use your cell phone, tablet or e-reader, you are likely peering down your nose with a bent posture, whether at a desk or lying on the sofa.

Symptoms include headaches, eye strain, back problems, pinched nerves, knotted shoulders, bone spurs, arthritic back discs, and chronic posture problems. It is caused by holding the head forward from the body’s center point causing a “scrunch” of the upper body.

Dr. Nicholas Mellum, a chiropractor in Richfield Minnesota, says the proper posture is to keep the head upright, looking straight ahead at your device. This, of course, taxes the arms and shoulders over any period of time.

“People [should] put the tablet on something… because as soon as you hold [the tablet], you are using some of your shoulder and arm muscles and you adopt more of that ugly, gross hunched-over posture that will make all these problems we’ve been talking about come to light,” Mellum said.

We’re not going to get rid of our handhelds anytime soon so it is time to make an effort to stand/sit up straight and attach those tablets to something other than your outstretched arms.

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