Screen use a pain in the neck?
Screens. They are everywhere in our lives. Phones, tablets, laptops, desktops and game systems. And as we all know they can be slightly addictive… we have all fallen into that rabbit hole of looking up a recipe for dinner only to find ourselves half an hour later looking at a video of a cat falling off a sofa!
Constant repetitive screen use may not be the same type of injury as car accident for our necks, but it is a factor in most of the neck problems I see in clinic everyday. The constant low level injury that is caused by holding our heads forward and quite often to one side over and over and over again causes tension in the muscles and joints in our necks.
Over time this can build up to cause pain in the neck, pain in the upper back and can even be the root cause of headaches.
To help you I am going to list the 5 most common ways I see screens causing neck pain and what you can do about it.
1. Neck Pain Caused by Desktop at Work or Home
Long times spent in front of a computer screen is whether it is set up well or not is not good for us. It is important that you have a good desk setup to help you avoid desk related injuries and that you take regular breaks from your desk.
2. Neck Pain Caused by Laptop at Work or Home
If you are working from a laptop then you need to have a good setup – as good as you would have at work.
I always recommend using a laptop with a riser and separate keyboard and mouse. This puts the laptop at the right height to put your neck in the right position
3. Neck Pain Caused by Use of Tablet
Hands up who have been guilty of using a tablet whilst also watching TV? Quite a few of us are probably guilty of that one. This means that we are often moving our heads and neck to look at two different screens which can cause extra stress for our necks. Even if you are only using the tablet on its own we often use them with our necks bent quite a way forward. Try to avoid this by bringing the tablet up to your face to use it. If you have tablet related pains and you would like some advice then you can book a free chiro chat appointment to see if I can help you.
4. Mobile Phones
This picture shows a posture that I am sure we are all used to seeing. Head forwards looking at our phone. The trouble is that our heads are heavy and as soon as we bring them forwards it is a lot of work for the muscles and joints in our necks to maintain this position. Over time the repetitive nature of this position causes neck pain due to the stress on the muscles and joints of the neck. Try and limit the amount of time you spend on your phone. The only way I have found I can do this is by having my phone on silent in another room.
5. Games station
If you spend long hours on games station then it is not only your neck that can be irritated. It is all too easy to get into a bad posture with the low back unsupported and your head and neck held forwards. This position not only causes neck pain but can also cause low back pain. The best way to avoid this is to take regular breaks during which you get up and move around this helps loosen stiff muscles and joints in your low back and neck.
So how many of those things I have listed above are you doing? Comment below.
The best way to help your neck is to start to make the changes I have suggested above and take some time away from your screens. Put them down and get outside for some fresh air and exercise. Your neck and the rest of your body will thank you for it.
If you are suffering from neck problems and would like some advice then you can book a Free Chiro Chat Appointment to see if I can help you.
Chiropractor, Total Chiropractic