Relieve neck pain caused by smartphone and tablet use

Relieve neck pain caused by smartphone and tablet use

Heavy smartphone and tablet users are increasingly creating stress around their neck by twisting and tilting their neck to different angles.  Chiropractors also say that working in front of the computer or your laptop for longer than 8 hours without using proper posture may be a major cause of neck pain in the workplace.  As many as 63% of all office workers suffer from neck and back pain. If you do work for long periods at the computer, make sure that you do take regular breaks by standing and stretching your back, which ‘re-sets’ the spinal tension.  Spinal tension is caused by sitting in a particular position for prolonged periods. Also try to sit in an upright neutral posture.  It’s a common fact that most people do not like to sit in an upright neutral position because they are too accustomed to the comfort of their cozy office or home chairs.  However your posture while sitting is critical in controlling pain.

In the office

While you are in an office, try using an office chair with lumbar support.  You should also adjust the height of the office chair so that your keyboard and monitors are at comfortable height and you can rest your forearms while using your keyboard.  This not only helps to reduce the tension on your forearms but also helps you to type more efficiently.  It’s advisable to use a footrest and an anti-glare screen for your monitor to prevent building up of static energy.  Be sure that you have an ergonomic office setup so that you are not putting any strain on your neck.

Travel and commuting

If you need to carry your laptop while commuting or traveling, use a rucksack style backpack so that the weight of the laptop is equally distributed among your shoulders. Also try to limit the items that you carry along your laptop in the backpack to avoid excess weight. These are the common denominators to prevent neck and back pain on which most of the experts agree with.

Smartphone and tablet use today

Smartphones and tablets are an indispensible part of our daily life, and that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.  It’s hard to tell exactly how much one spends over their smartphone as there are so many things we do on our phones.  Sending texts, browsing your favorite web sites and sending emails, doing social networking and installing any new app that grabs your attention – all the time spent on these activities really adds up.  Whenever we are using our smartphone we tend to hunch our shoulders, keep our head down and bend our arms so that we can focus on the screen.  If we stay in this posture for more than two hours every day then chances are that we may develop neck and back pain, or this posture can exacerbate existing pain.  This phenomenon of chronic neck pain caused due to excessive smartphone usage is sometimes known as “Smartphone Syndrome”.

Tips to relieve neck pain caused by smartphone and tablet use

Follow these simple tips while using your smart phone to prevent building up of excessive tension around your back and neck.

Try to bring the smartphone or tablet to your eye level instead of hunching your shoulder and tilting your head to see the screen.  One way to keep your head centered over your spine is to lay on your back on a flat floor or a flat bed.  Following this posture is good for maintaining the natural curvature of your spine.  I follow this posture when I am reading an eBook or an online newspaper on something like an ipad or Kindle device.

Stretch your arms, shrug your shoulders, and relax your fingers every 40 minutes.  Try to look away from the screen every 20 minutes or so, and blink your eyes.

You can look for a smartphone app that beeps whenever your tablet or smart phone is not held at a safe viewing angle.

Invest in a good docking station and wrist guards to support the weight of your smartphone. You can also buy a good Bluetooth headset to use along with it, if you are into multimedia content, which will increase your ability to move around while using your device.

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