Technology has made many people's lives easier, but with every new invention, there's a potential for drawbacks. One of those drawbacks that is a result of technology is neck and back pain. That pain starts small, but it could end up having a lasting impact.
Sitting for hours at a desk, looking down at a smartphone and even taking phone calls has a potential to lead to misalignments in your spine. These misalignments might seem temporary, but the truth is that they can lead to long-term problems.
Using a Smartphone Puts Pressure on Your Spine
You may not be aware of it at the time but craning your neck to look at your smartphone's screen puts lots of pressure on your spine. How much pressure? Around 60 pounds of force. You wouldn't walk around with 60 pounds of weight on your neck, but that's essentially what happens when you look down to view your phone. The small screen size makes you bend closer to see it, and by hunching to view the screen, your neck falls out of alignment. Over time, this leads to pain and injuries that may cause permanent damage.
Technology Could Lead to Long-Term Pain and Injuries
It's not just smartphones that put you at risk. Things like laptop computers, which sit on your lap instead of at eye-level, also cause you to bend and scrunch up your neck. You may already suffer from neck pain or soreness and ignore it, but that's dangerous. If you catch the symptoms early on, it's easier to recover.
Some people believe that taking a few days off is all they need to get back in shape, but the reality is that long-term use of technology in a non-ergonomic way does lead to lasting injuries. It encourages the degeneration of the cervical discs and may result in arthritis, herniated discs, and other issues throughout the spinal column.
Remember that neck pain isn't the only symptom you may feel. Numbness down the spinal column, along the shoulders or in the hands and arms may be a sign. Migraines, shoulder pain, and upper back pain also result from misalignments. Sciatic pain, which occurs in the lower spinal area, may also be prompted by misalignments in the cervical area.
What's the Best Treatment?
Spring will be here soon. We'll all be ready to get outside more! Make sure you're getting time away from technology and plenty of fresh air and exercise. We at Capital City Neurosurgery wish you well and encourage you to seek help if you begin having symptoms. Early treatment helps prevent long-term health problems. Call us today to get started.