I was on the tube the other day and glanced down the carriage. Almost everyone was sitting hunched crossed legged over their smart phones. As you can imagine, using our smart phones like this is placing increased strain on the neck vertebrae and has even led to a new condition: text neck. Many of us are addicted to our smart phones and forever checking, searching on Google, shopping, or on social media. Smart phones are an amazingly convenient and useful thing, but anything in excess and with poor posture can lead to or aggravate existing neck problems.
Neck pain is a leading cause of disability, and is the fourth most common health condition out of 291 reported worldwide. Chronic neck pain can be quite complex in nature and it is often considered as more difficult to manage than chronic back pain.
There are obvious and simple things you can do to prevent yourself getting text neck. The first is to place limits on phone use. Have a look at the people you are travelling to work with and ask yourself, do I look like that? Instead of hunching over your phone, bring your phone up to near eye level. Check how much tension you are using to type on those delicate keys. What are you doing with your arms and shoulders? And very importantly: are you habitually crossing your legs? This is not going to do any part of your back any good (including your neck which is the beginning of your spine.
These simple suggestions would be a good start but if you want more help, not just in this instance but in how you use your body in all your activities, Alexander Technique lessons one to one can be a revelation and help you to make deeper more long-lasting changes to your posture and body-use. After back pain, neck pain and posture are the most common reasons for taking Alexander Technique lessons. In a major clinical trial funded by Arthritis Research UK and run by the University of York, one-to-one Alexander lessons led to long-term improvement in pain and associated disability for people who had chronic neck pain.
Alexander Technique students find the hands-on work with the teacher enables them to experience and gradually implement a much freer, lighter, easier way of having 'good posture' and better body co-ordination. Visit our site http://www.edgwareacupuncture for more information.
Do get back to me with your own observations of how you use your body while on your smart phones. Make a start today to save your neck from future problems.