How Technology Can Be A Pain In The Neck And What You Can Do About It
With new technology at your fingertips throughout the day, such as computers and hand-held devices such as cell phones, e-readers or tablets, your posture may be suffering. These technological devices may make things in your life easier, but could be giving you a pain in the neck. Looking down at your cell phone or other hand-held devices for extended periods of time can cause you to overuse your neck, upper back and shoulder muscles and can lead to muscle strain, pinched nerves or a herniated disc. See below for tips on how to prevent this type of strain in a technological world.
If you are constantly on devices throughout the day, you may need to set some limits. Set aside only a certain amount of time throughout the day to be on your hand-held device. No more being on your device in bed or at the dinner table. Maybe limit the time to an hour or less while on your lunch break, or for a half an hour after dinner for a little downtime.
Fix Your Posture
Whether in front of the computer at work or at home on your device, your posture matters. Try to maintain a neutral spine; sit up straight so your ears are in alignment with your shoulders. While sitting in front of the computer at home or at work, be sure your feet are planted firmly on the floor or crossed at the ankles. Do not cross your legs, as it can put strain on your hips and lower back. Be sure to use an ergonomic chair that provides support for your lower back. While on your phone or other handheld device, try putting it at eye level, rather than looking straight down. Believe it or not, your head weighs a lot more than you think and looking down will cause a strain on your neck.
Stretch And Take Breaks
Be sure to stretch and take breaks when you can at work to get away from the computer screen. You can do stretches at your desk throughout the day to give your neck and back a break. You can do these stretches at home as well to help relieve pain.
- Move your neck back and forth from side to side and from front to back.
- Twist your neck rotating it as in looking over your shoulder. Repeat for both sides.
- Holding your hands behind your back, pull your shoulders in and move your head from side to side.
- Again, holding your hands behind your back, bend at the hips and try to lift your hands and arms up over your head. This helps stretch your back, arms and shoulders.
Although technology makes life easier in some ways, it can also cause more problems. Be sure to limit time on your devices and stretch throughout the day to give your muscles a break. If you are experiencing neck, shoulder or back pain, see your chiropractor for a consultation and an adjustment.