Neck Problems and Tech Postures:
These days the average person spends between 7 and a whopping 12 hours a day looking at a screen, including time spent on computers and smartphones. With this screen time often comes very poor posture and having your body in interesting positions for a long period of time. One of the specific postures that people assume is universal where the head is pushed forward and looking down and the shoulders are rounded. This is so common that a new term in the medical world has been coined; Text Neck.
This is defined as a repetitive stress or overuse syndrome caused from having one’s head in such a position for a prolonged period of time. This position causes the muscles on the back of your neck to be in a chronically lengthened position and the muscles on the front of your neck to be in a chronically shortened position. Additionally the vertebrae inside your neck are also stuck in a specific posture that can increase the stress forces in certain portions as well as increase stress on the intervertebral discs. The weight of your head and the subsequent stress on the tissues mentioned also significantly increases the farther forward you bend your head further compounding this effect.
This over time can also lead to weakness of the muscles in the front of neck and overuse of the muscles in the back of the neck which all in combination can result in pain and neck dysfunction.
Another component of this syndrome is the rounding of the upper back when leaning forward and going into what is called excessive thoracic kyphosis. This leads to further poor alignment of the vertebrae in your back and decreases the mobility of your shoulders and neck as well due to their close connections.
This syndrome is not something permanent however and can be corrected with targeted exercises and mindfulness of one’s posture. The exercises can be used to help to target the weak muscles in your neck, the alignment of your cervical spine, as well as the alignment and mobility of your thoracic spine. Decreasing screen time in general or being aware of how frequently and for how long you maintain your head in poor positioning can also be a big help in relieving symptoms.
We also can’t neglect the relationship of the neck (cervical spine) with the neighboring spinal region below (the thoracic spine). This region of the spine is unique in that the ribs attach and articulate with this region of the spine. Keeping a healthy spine for functional adults and athletes to be able to move to the best of their ability is the main goal. We need to address the neighboring structures as they relate to available range of motion and joint mobility disparities. Muscle strength and activation to keep structures stable through functional ranges and movements is crucial to maintain health and longevity for active people and athletes. This is where corrective exercise and appropriate prescription of therapeutic exercise is key to solidify the long term changes we seek in our patients.
If you’re still battling pain you can’t seem to shake and this problem is limiting you from doing the activities that you LOVE, give us a shout today at 561-899-8725 or email us directly at Team@AthleteRC.com we can directly diagnose what the problem is and how to solve it together for the long-term.
Imagine getting that pain fixed – allowing you to really get after your workouts and do the activities you LOVE most in life. We can help solve this problem for you.