We all love the connectivity and practicality of having the online world at our fingertips, 24/7. And our phones are no longer just devices we use if there's someone on the line, but we check our emails, look up review, shop, chat, find friends, learn, work and play. Battery life withstanding, I'm sure many people can live their life looking at their phone.
No matter how fantastic our phones become, the reliance we have for them now beckons the question, What is it doing to our bodies?
Already, we have seen a sharp rise in constant headaches, stiff necks and shoulders, lower back pain and changes not just to muscular posture, but also change in the vertebrae (bones) of the neck through x-rays scans.
When looking at these images, it all starts to make sense from a physiological point of view. Just a 30 degree forward head tilt (which is common for looking down at your phone) adds an extra 40 pounds of pressure on the cervical spine. That added pressure itself gives an extra load on the musculature which was designed to keep the neck upright and turn it, no to hold onto great weights or loads for extended periods of time.
Headaches are a big side effect. Chronically sore, inflexible and tight shoulders also have a big impact on how our well-being is effected. What you may not know is that lower back pain can also be contributed to developing a forward head posture. As you can see below, the body tries to compensate the stress of the increased load on the neck, so the upper back increases its curve and leans back, then the lower back compensates for the upper backs extra curve, to try and stabilise everything.
HERE are the 5 top things to STOP your phone being a pain in the neck.
By manually releasing the built up tension in your muscles, as well as regaining length, massage gives you that relief your body has been screaming for. It can also give you on the spot headache relief
2) STRETCH Your Trapezius , Lavator Scapula and Sternocleidomastoid ((SCM) are 3 main muscles that bare the brunt of this added pressure, Try these stretches shown, holding for 15-20 seconds, on each side, repeating 3-5 times.
Pectoralis (Chest) Stretch Stand in a doorway and place your forearms against the frame of the door, with your elbows at shoulder height. With one foot forward, draw your shoulder blades together on your back and gently lean into the door.
3) CHANGE YOUR POSTURE
A simple elevation of your devices eliminates the increased pressure on the neck, which in return stops your muscles having to work extra hard to support the posture.
4) LIMIT and BREAK UP the times you spend in those postures Just like the limitations we have for computer use, phones should be treated the same.
Try for the maximum for 20 minutes at a time, then having a break.
Shoulder Blade Pinches While sitting or standing straight, pinch your shoulder blades together and back. Your shoulders will be pulled back. Hold for a few seconds, release and repeat.
Try for 10 times every device break
Without tilting your head in any direction, gently draw your head and chin back, (like you’re making a double chin.) Hold then Release your chin forward.