Text neck is just one of the many terms that have emerged in recent years to describe the effect that modern technology and workplaces have on the neck. We’re going to look at some of the connections between modern conveniences and neck pain to reveal just how deep the link goes. Then we will address a natural way to recover from the damage that has already been done.
It is no surprise that a person’s neck can hurt when you look down at your phone over and over again all day, or that binge-watching a show on a tablet or looking at a low monitor on a desk can lead to a forward head position. What may surprise is how many other symptoms there are when it comes to the overuse of technology. Here are a few:
The upper back and shoulders are the first areas to be affected when the neck is out of proper alignment. The spine and surrounding soft tissue move to balance the head. This can lead to pain in the upper back and shoulders, or even numbness and tingling in the arms and hands.
Besides pinched nerves that can affect the arms and even lead to carpal tunnel pain, there are other nerves that can become pinched. For example, as changes continue to travel down the spine, lower back misalignments can irritate the sciatic nerve. This can result in pain, numbness, or a burning sensation that travels all the way down one leg.
Misalignments of the upper cervical spine can affect blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid drainage. Since the atlas (C1) surrounds the brainstem, a misalignment can also affect brainstem function and affect the entire central nervous system. It is no wonder that the majority of headaches and migraines also come along with some degree of neck pain.
Your upper cervical spine doesn’t have to be very far out of alignment for whole-body effects to occur. That means you need to watch your posture carefully when using technology. The main thing that applies pressure to a properly balanced spine is the head. The average head weighs about 12 pounds, and the neck can handle that with no problem. How does technology use affect the delicate balance?
At this angle, your neck is dealing with 60 pounds of pressure from the weight of the head. That’s is five times what it is used to dealing with. But when you slide your phone out of your pocket, check it at waist level, and put it back, this is exactly what your neck is coping with. Now multiply that by the number of times you check your phone every day, and you start to understand how chronic neck pain occurs.
This angle creates 49 pounds of pressure on the spine. If you are lying in bed with your laptop or tablet in your lap, this is approximately the angle your neck is at. While there isn’t as much pressure, sometimes we hold this angle for hours while working or binge-watching a show.
This angle still causes 40 pounds of pressure on the neck. So even when you are holding your phone up (as many of us do to see the screen a little better), you are still more than tripling the work your neck is performing in order to stay straight. So while holding the phone higher helps, it doesn’t completely fix the problem.
Even this slight angle more than doubles the pressure to 27 pounds. This means that if your monitors are just a few inches too low on your desk at work, that you are making your neck cope with twice the strain all day long at the office. It is easy to see how this could eventually lead to misalignments and other changes in the structures of the neck and along the rest of the spine.
It can be easy to take a pain reliever and forget that neck pain exists for a little while, but that doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Very often, neck pain is the result of slight misalignments that are caused by the overuse of technology and other postural issues. While it is important to control technology use in order to maintain proper posture, more is needed. Upper cervical chiropractic can relieve the underlying subluxations that can make correct posture feel uncomfortable.
Upper cervical chiropractors focus on the top two bones of the spine. These two bones, the atlas and axis, affect blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow as well as brainstem function. That is why precision measurements are taken and adjustments are extremely gentle. Fractions of a millimeter matter when it comes to the base of the skull and the balance of the head.
If you suffer from chronic neck pain, it makes sense to have an upper cervical chiropractor check for misalignment. Since subluxations in this area can lead to changes throughout the spine, you may find that more than just your neck pain is helped once the misalignment is corrected. Schedule a consultation today to see if this is the right natural therapy for you.
The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.