Truth #3: It’s time for a self-assessment
Give yourself a quick pop quiz:
- Are you holding your mobile device below eye level?
- Is your chin down towards your chest?
- Are your shoulders slumped forward?
- If you tilt your head back, do you feel relief in your neck?
If you answered yes to any of the questions, keep reading. Technology isn’t going anywhere, so learning better posture habits now may help you avoid back pain down the road.
Want to know more about what could be causing your back pain? Click to watch this video below:
Truth #4: Mindfulness can go a long way toward pain relief
The constant use of mobile devices (and laptops) is such a problem when it comes to daily activities and posture, terms like “tech neck” and “text neck” have been coined.
“The curved posture most of us assume while emailing, texting or reading on our devices simply isn’t good for the cervical spine, better known as the neck,” Dr. Kaliq Chang, MD of the Atlantic Spine Center in New Jersey, explains. “Since our properly positioned neck muscles are designed to support the weight of our head – about 10 to 12 pounds – constantly dropping our heads forward to look at a device actually puts about 60 pounds of force on the neck.”
Over time, this repetitive stress on the neck can pull the spine out of alignment. It may sound like a minor problem, but it’s not. It can lead to serious issues like pinched nerves and early onset arthritis.
This means the truth about managing back pain includes being mindful. Use your devices properly to avoid damaging your neck and spine. Hold your cell phone and tablets up to eye height to avoid straining your neck. If you’re using a laptop – especially for many hours consecutively at work – be mindful of how your laptop is positioned. Ideally, you want to be sitting at a 25-30 degree angle, with good lower back support.
Aim to get up and away from desk at least once a hour each day. Take a walk around the office or outside. Stretch and loosen your muscles. This will help alleviate your pain and help you get in the habit of prioritizing your body and your health.