In this blog I want to talk about “Phone Neck”.
Essentially, the most common cause of neck and head pain in our society is from sustained poor positions of our necks. Staying still in one position repeatedly (especially a sustained position towards the extreme of motion) is really not healthy.
Imagine if you took your finger and bent it right back as far as it could go and SUSTAINED that position for just one hour. PAIN.
Yep. All the muscles, joints and ligaments… in fact, ALL the soft tissue gets overstretched and position faults of the joints begin to appear. And that leads to pain.
Guess what. That’s what we do with our necks every day when we sit for a while….and especially when we are on our mobile phones for a while.
Slowly, the weight through your hips falls behind your sitting bones (ischial tuberosities) and you slump in the low back. This in turn allows your chest to fall forward and your neck is held in a sustained protruded or bent position. Worse still is if you do this in bed on your back with the pillow gently forcing your neck in that bent position.
Gradually, you lose the ability to pull your head back in a chin tuck and the protruded neck position becomes chronic.
So…what to do about it?
Firstly, Don’t use your phone for longer than 10 to 15 minutes at any one time. But, if you dare to make a habit of this, try to have the phone at least angled and elevated upwards to prevent such extreme bent neck positions.
Secondly, move regularly. Sitting is the new smoking. Never, ever sit still ANYWHERE for more than one hour. Even if it means to do a few chin tucks (or pull your head in) and break up that sustained bent neck position.
Thirdly, If you’re having difficulty moving your neck as a result of poor habits like “Phone Neck” and its becoming increasingly painful to try to reverse these positions…then CALL US!
We have spinal physiotherapists who are experts in treating these kinds of things. We will help teach you how to treat your own neck to prevent future problems.
We use gentle repeated movements and pressures applied to the neck at the right angles and loads to reduce pain immediately.