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Doylestown Chiropractor Discusses Text Neck

February 10, 2015 Leave a comment

Just about everywhere you look people are staring at their smart phones, iPads, laptops, you name it. But a Doylestown chiropractor says the constant strain on your neck could be causing major damage.

According to Pew Research Institute, more than half of Americans own a smart phone. Then there are all of the laptops, e-readers and tablets. Bottom line: we are looking down a lot.

According to Dr. Jeff McQuaite he often sees patients with aches and pains that turn out to be related to their technology.   His neck pain patients said that they were playing on their iPads for hours on end, looking down at a computer seven hours a day at work, texting or responding to emails on their phones and, reading on their Kindles.

“I am seeing it a lot, especially in teenagers and even older patients,” he says. “We’re so into our electronic devices, and what we’re doing is holding the device at chest- or waist-level, and looking down at the device. It’s causing neck muscles to be shortened and tightened, and shoulders to be rounded forward.”

When your texting, your turning your whole spine forward.  While the head is angled forward, the ligaments and tendons in the neck and back become overstretched. This overexertion can lead to an inflammation of the muscles and can cause mild to severe neck and back pain. There are increasing reports of “text neck” causing lower back pain, which is often chronic.

Any kind of neck, shoulder, or back pain requires some sort of attention, he says. You can stretch at home, get a massage, see a chiropractor or by simply holding your phone higher when you look at it can make a considerable difference. Now there is an app that can help you prevent ‘text neck.”

And yes, “text neck” is a real thing!  According to Dr. Ken Hansraj, M.D., a spinal surgeon at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, “We did a study on the issue of poor posture and how it affects you, especially when you’re on a cell phone or smart device,” “It’s a lot of load, an amazing amount of weight to be carrying around your neck.”

Just how much load does that constant downward-looking gaze put on the neck muscles?

“When your spine is in neutral position, the head weighs about 10-12 pounds,” he says. “At 15 degrees [forward], the neck sees 27 pounds. At 45 degrees, it sees 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees, it’s 60 pounds.”

Text Neck

That’s 60 pounds of weight stress on muscles and nerves that are meant to handle 10-12 pounds of stress, and that much load can do a lot of damage over time.

When you have such aggressive stressors on the neck, you get wear and tear on the spine or even get a bulging or herniated disc. “There is a big cluster of nerves in the area between the neck and the shoulder, called your brachial plexus” he says. “Any compression, irritation, misalignment, muscle spasms, or tension in this area can cause pain that spreads out all the way down to the fingers.”

Warrington PA Chiropractor Shares Basic Ab Exercises

February 4, 2015 Leave a comment

Dr. McQuaite, a Warington PA chiropractor, shares some basic ab and core exercises. Make sure the lower back stays well supported. Relax for a moment between exercises. Allow enough time for a good stretch/cool-down period when you are done.

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Basic Crunch
Lay down on the floor, knees bent, hands resting on your thighs, feet and lower back pressing into the ground. Squeeze the abdominals as you lift your upper body toward your knees. Lower. Your hands will naturally move up and down your leg. Exhale up, inhale down. Repeat 20 times.

Reverse Crunch
Press the hands into the floor at your side. Raise your legs so that they are perpendicular to the ground. Now, lift your buttocks an inch or two off of the floor, keeping shoulders to the floor. Lower slowly, concentrating on the lower ab region. Repeat 15 times.

Cross
Lay on your back, knees bent. Use your hands to support the head, thumbs right behind your ears. Keeping your right shoulder on the ground, twist the left side of your body up and over, pointing your left shoulder toward your right knee. Lower. Repeat 15 times each side.

Crunch with Alternate Twist
Same position, knees bent, hands supporting the head. Crunch up; twist your body to the right; twist your body to the left; and crunch forward again. Release, but do not lower your head all the way to the ground. Repeat this series of fluid movements 10 times.

If you are looking for more exercise tips and how to keep your back healthy, visit this warrington chiropractor website.