Understanding & Treating Postural Neck Pain
We depend on smartphones for entertainment, shopping, work, and staying connected to our friends and family. These little handheld devices have made our lives easier and more connected than ever before, but they also do have their downsides.
You might assume that looking down at your smartphone or sending a message doesn’t need much exertion. But think again - The average American spends over 5 hours on their smartphone a day. Many of us use these handheld devices excessively, and depending on how we use them it can strain the neck, arms, and upper back, causing pain and discomfort.
What is postural neck pain?
As the name suggests, this is pain caused because of poor posture. It has even gotten the nickname of “TPD”, text postural dysfunction, because of how smartphone use can really impact our posture. Most people that experience this pain from prolonged durations of poorly adopted posture. As such, this stresses the neighboring structures supporting your head. The pain may also radiate down your back and into your arm(s).
What are the symptoms of postural neck pain?
Forward head posture occurs when the neck slants forward, placing the head further in front of the shoulders rather than directly above. This head position can lead to several problems. This can include pain or soreness in the neck and back, headaches, muscle tenderness, and increased stress on the cervical spine (neck region). It’s possible to develop a hump on the back of your neck due to your body over compensating for your head being too far forward. Check out our patient resources center on our website to see what exactly all this leaning forward can do!
Tips and treatments to prevent neck pain
Treating symptoms is crucial, but nothing compares to an effective prevention strategy. There are things that you can do at home and in your daily life to help with the pain.
- Check out how to view your smartphone in our patient resources center. For example, hold your device higher to maintain eye level. Although it might look and feel a bit awkward, it minimizes neck and upper back stress. If your head tends to be looking downward when on your phone, you are adding extra stress to your neck.
- When you can, try to reconnect with the world around you, not through the screen. Whether it’s locking it away, activating flight mode, or silent mode, do whatever to disengage for a while. Engage in activities that won’t require using phones, such as hiking, sports, meeting your friends in person, and other outdoor activities.
- Get an adjustment! One way that you can feel relief is by trusting one of the professional chiropractors at BC +PT to realign your neck and spine to release the tension. If you have never had an adjustment before, our chiropractors will help you feel as comfortable as possible and take the time to answer your questions.
Of course, these are only suggestions that can potentially help. The best course of action is to speak with your BC + PT chiropractor or physical therapist for expert advice. Poor posture is something that, unfortunately, millions of Americans have adopted. This may have a lasting impact on your body, causing pain or discomfort, as well as limiting your ability to function efficiently. Fortunately, the BC + PT team is more than able to help you start your journey to proper posture, all you need to do is give us a call or fill out one of our contact forms today!