News and Insights

Our clinic blog provides insights and articles that focus on improving your healthcare and wellbeing to help maintain an active lifestyle.

Is your phone being a pain in the neck?

‘Text Neck’ is the new term referring to neck pain caused by looking down at mobile devices for prolonged periods. There is no denying that technology has transformed the way we live, but if you’re the type of person who’s constantly glued to your phone, be warned: Looking down at your screen can be the equivalent of putting up to 60 pounds of extra weight on your spine, according to an analysis published in the journal Surgical Technology International. Putting that into perspective, 60 pounds is roughly how much an average 8-year-old weighs. So being continuously stooped over, texting or scrolling through social media, is like constantly having a child strung around your neck. No wonder people complain of neck pain from texting! 

It’s common knowledge that hunched shoulders are not good posture and a recipe for back and neck pain, but leaning your head forward may be another way to wreak havoc. In fact, the chances that you will have neck pain at some point in your lifetime is now nearly 50%!

On average we spend around 10 hours and 24 minutes engaging with our mobile devices every day. Within five minutes of waking up in the morning, 35% of us check our phones, and 70% of us use phones during mealtimes with family and friends. Sadly, this excessive reliance on digital devices is taking a toll on our bodies. Besides muscle pain, text neck can cause a host of other health concerns. Sitting in a slumped position restricts your lungs’ ability to expand, impairing your lung capacity. Inhaling less oxygen means your heart needs to pump harder to distribute more oxygen-carrying blood through your body.

Typically, incidence of neck pain increases the older you get.  But recently, it seems we’re seeing and treating more patients, and younger patients, who never reported having neck pain before. Luckily, there is no need to shun all technology though. Changing a few habits can make a big difference in improving your spinal health and overall wellbeing. Here are some tips to help avoid text neck and other spinal issues resulting from overuse of mobile devices:

  • Change the way you hold your phone – bring the screen up to eye level so that you’re not slouched forward. The same goes for your desktop computer. Your monitor screen should be at eye level so your head isn’t perpetually dropping and causing muscle strain.
  • If your posture isn’t perfect, try doing shoulder extensions. Arch your neck and upper back    backward, pulling your shoulders into alignment under your ears. This simple stretch can alleviate stress and muscle pain.
  • Take regular breaks from mobile devices. For example, try not to check your phone while commuting.
  • Get social with family or friends. Have a ‘no phone policy’ during dinner. You’ll probably enjoy your meal even more without the distraction!

 

Stretching can help alleviate neck pain and discomfort caused by text neck. Our osteopaths can give you professional advice about which type of stretching exercises are suitable for you. Depending on your circumstances, we may suggest a treatment plan, which will help improve the range of motion and function of your neck and upper spine. For further information please contact us.

More Insights

Our core services at The Carl Todd Clinics

Sports Massage

Speeding the recovery process and enhancing performance

Sports massage offers a number of benefits both for athletes and for people in everyday life. It can help pain reduction, which is often caused by muscle tension and waste products. The massage techniques used by our therapists work deep into the soft tissues to restore mobility and help speed up recovery.
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Physiotherapy

People of all ages and activity levels can benefit from physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is a healthcare profession that helps promote a faster recovery with lasting results. Our physiotherapists assist patients in restoring normal function and movement to the body, which in turn, helps reduce pain levels.
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Osteopathy

Treating back, neck and musculoskeletal pain effectively

Osteopathy can help effectively treat back pain, neck pain and many other musculoskeletal symptoms by understanding the origin of your pain.  Many common physical symptoms can be successfully treated using gentle, manipulative osteopathic techniques, including sciatica, whiplash, headaches caused by neck pain and arthritic pain.
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Shockwave

Shockwave Therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal conditions – especially chronic conditions

If you have been suffering from tendon pain in your Achilles, knee, elbow, foot or shoulder for a long period of time and haven’t been able to find relief from other forms of treatment, then this innovative type of treatment may be of benefit.
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Pilates

Strengthen your muscles & stabilise your core

Pilates is a form of exercise that offers a different way of thinking about your body. It targets the deep postural muscles, which in today’s society are so underused, and works by building strength from the inside out, rebalancing posture and bringing the body into correct alignment.
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Podiatry

Biomechanical foot and ankle assessments to reduce pain and improve function

Podiatry assesses and corrects problems arising from the function of the feet. Incorrect movement or function of the foot can not only lead to foot and ankle pain but is often the cause of non-specific knee, back and hip pain.
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Please call either of our clinics to book, or send us an email:

Corsham Clinic: 01249 248392
Swindon Clinic:  01793 978270

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