Is your smartphone a pain in the neck?
Did you know, that for every inch you hold your head forward, you add ten pounds of pressure on your spine? This little factoid blew my mind when I first read the details. Normally, we carry about 10 pounds of weight on our shoulders…and now, just by looking down at our phones, we carry a burden that is at least four times greater!
Your neck, shoulder, even back pain, could simply be related to too many hours looking down at your phone. Our neck muscles already work hard looking out for danger to keep us safe. You have the SCM turning side to side, Scalenes holding you up, Lavator Scapulae lifting your shoulders and Trapezius anchoring everything in place…and that’s just four of the over twenty major and minor muscles supporting your head. When standing in correct posture, our head sits nicely between our shoulders with the weight distributing down the spine and throughout our body. But by holding your head forward, even slightly, or chronically looking down, you are now placing the burden of support on the neck and should muscles. These muscles are always happy to help – indeed they often kick in when they aren’t needed – but they can fatigue rather quickly.
What to do? First, see me for a massage (of course). Then, practice some simple yoga stretches daily. If you need to look at your phone, bring it to eye level rather than looking down for extended periods of time. Bring awareness to your posture and try to consciously stay in alignment. Finally, but most important of all, take a break from technology. Give your eyes, head, spine and brain a moment to breathe and rest. Stop and smell the roses (but bring the rose to eye level…).
Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced massage therapists to help work out those pains and guide you back to a pain free lifestyle.