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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.”

Doylestown Chiropractor Discusses Things You Need To Know About Neck Pain

Pain that is located in the neck is one of the most common medical conditions. Neck pain comes from lots of disorders as well as diseases of the neck tissues. It is a discomfort that is being felt in the neck structures including the nerves, bones, muscles, and the discs between bones.
Examples of the common conditions that produce neck pain include degenerative discs disease, neck injury like in whiplash, neck strain, herniated disc, or pinched nerve. Additionally, neck pain also comes from common types of infection like virus infection of throat, leading to neck pain and swelling of the nymph glands. Necks pains can also be caused by rare infections like tuberculosis of neck, osteomyelitis, septic discitis, and even meningitis. It may also come from some conditions affecting the neck muscles such as plymyalgia rheumatica and fibromyalgia.
Common Causes of Neck Pain
The common cause of neck pains is muscle tension or strain. Usually, your everyday task is to be blame. Such activities may include:
– Bending over for hours
– Poor body posture while reading or watching TV
– Having your PC monitor positioned excessively high or low
– Sleeping in uncomfortable positions
– Turning and twisting your neck in quite jarring manner during exercises
Also, falls or accidents can also cause neck injuries such as whiplash, vertebral fractures, blood vessel injuries, or even paralysis. Other causes are:
– Medical condition like fibromyalgia
– Spondylosis or cervical arthritis
– Ruptured disk
– Small fractures on the spine because of osteoporosis
– Spinal stenosis
– Sprains
– Spine infection

Symptoms Associated With Neck Pain
Neck pain is frequently associated with a dull aching. Other symptoms that are being associated with neck pains include tingling, numbness, sharp shooting pains, tenderness, difficulty swallowing, fullness, pulsations, lightheadedness or dizziness, and swelling of the lymph node.
In addition to that, neck pain is also being associated with facial pain, headache, shoulder pain, and tingling or numbness of the arm. These symptoms are usually the result of pinched nerves of the neck.

How Neck Pain is Treated
Neck pain located at the base of you skull may disappear even without treatment. For short term problems, pain killers of medicines and manual treatment such as physiotherapy or chiropractor are recommended. With long term pain, here are the following treatment options:
Chiropractic treatment
• Intensive muscle training
• Physiotherapy, which include advices on posture as well as the use of a good supportive pillow
• Acupuncture – it provides relief in chronic shoulder and neck pain.


When to Contact a Doylestown PA Chiropractor
You should call our office immediately if:
– The symptoms don’t go away within one week.
– You have tingling, weakness, or numbness in your hand or arm.
– If the neck pain is caused by an injury, a blow, or fall – if you can’t move your hand or arm.
– You have a lump on your neck or swollen glands.
– The pain doesn’t go away even with regular doses of over the counter medication.
– You find it difficult to breathe or swallow because of the pain in your neck.

McQuaite Chiropractic Center

295 Logan Street

Doylestown, PA 18901

267-247-7000

www.mcquaitechiropractic.com