iPain – technology is a pain in the neck
Technology is a wonderful thing, but more and more I am seeing pain and problems due to people spending so much time hunched over their smartphones and computers.
With a desktop PC, the separate components could be adjusted for better posture. But using a laptop, tablet or smartphone, people often work away from a desk, hunched over on a sofa.
The average human head weighs between 10 and 12lbs or 4 ½ to 5kgs. This is a huge amount of weight to hold away from your body. Imagine picking up a 5 litre bottle of water and holding it at arms length. This is what your neck has to deal with when you sit with your chin jutting forward or neck bent. This tension can cause pain and stiffness which can radiate through the shoulders, arms and wrists and of course, cause headaches.
What symptoms and issues are related to iPain?
- Tension headaches
- Carpal tunnel like symptoms
- Tennis elbow like symptoms
- Shoulder pain
- Neck pain
- Lower back pain
- Tingling or loss of strength in your fingers or arms
All of these conditions are related to neck strain.
What to do?
Whilst it would be ideal to restrict computer, laptop, tablet and smartphone use, the modern world we live in means these are often critical to people’s lives. So what to do next?
- Sit with your elbows and lower back supported (backless bar stools are not your friend!) and the screen lifted to eye height.
- Instead of tipping your head forward to get closer to the screen, keep your spine straight with your head back and bend at the waist, this gives you a nice low back stretch at the same time
- If you do work at a desk invest the time and money to set your chair up properly.
- take regular breaks