‘Technology, what a pain in the… well, neck!’ – By Physio4Life Senior Physiotherapist, Sam Downer

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Technology, what a pain in the… well, neck!

In this hip hop happening world technology is taking over. Thanks to all the technological geniuses I can now play games, surf the net and send emails wherever I may be in the world… all day long if I so choose. How convenient you might say, but wait! Here this! All this constant use of tablets, phones, laptops and whatever else there is in the technology world is taking its toll on our spines.

 

 

As the graphic above indicates we are naturally drawn into a posture that is not favourable to our long suffering necks. Our immortal enemy gravity with its continuous persistence inevitably wins this battle. The further forward the head tips the more pressure that goes through the joints in the neck and more effort is required by the surrounding muscles to support the head. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and headaches.

So what do we do to combat this? We say no to technology! … well maybe not no because as I’ve alluded to it’s a hip hop happening world, sadly technology is life now, but you see where I’m coming from. Try leaving your phone in your pocket on tube journeys. Leave your laptop in its bag and wait until you have an adequate place to set up before using it. If you still need to use these devices then try to make sure your posture is right. Ideally you want the screen of whatever it is you are using to be a little under your eye level to avoid tilting your head too far forwards. Making sure you are in a well supported comfy seat rather than sitting with your laptop on your lap as you sit slouched on the couch will help when working from home. Avoid prolonged use of such devices by taking regular breaks to adjust posture, get up out of your chair every hour and performing simple neck stretches will help to break up the amount of time you spend hunched over a device! The main problem with these type of problems is how long you spend in one posture which the body doesn’t like. So by making sure you are in good posture when using your laptop/tablet to start with and then making sure you aren’t in any one type of position for too long will make an enormous difference. Try and set by time at the weekend or an evening where you ban yourself from using these things and see what a difference it can make to you.

These are my top tips on how to avoid technology induced neck ache, what are yours?

 

 

 

 

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