Covid-19 got you stuck at home on your smartphone? Mind your posture to avoid neck and back pain

Technology doesn’t just impact the human way of life. Our technological advancements can also impact our human bodies. In fact, just about every great leap of technology has a physical counterpart (or consequence), and if you’re not careful that new device could be contributing to short- and long-term discomfort.

Alabama Orthopaedic Surgeons know how inseparable you and your device are—especially right now when technology is your singular connection to the outside world. That’s why taking appropriate steps to minimize the damage done by excessive usage begins with some smart strategies to match that smartphone.


The Problem

We all know the posture in question—device in hands, chin lowered, shoulder slumped forward, and neck strained. Holding this position for half a minute may seem innocent enough, but when held for hours or even just a dozen times a day, every day, for years, the damage can add up.

If you’ve got a pain in the neck and an affinity for all things digital, consider these steps to outpace the aches.


Raise Your Device

The most immediate victim of “texting posture” is the cervical spine—the seven vertebrae extending from shoulders to head.

The muscles in your neck are designed to support the weight of your head. Lowering your head (especially for longer periods of time) overworks the muscles by adding additional degrees of strain. That strain can cause irregular wear on the cervical spine.

The easiest remedy is to bring the device to eye level or near eye level. While it can feel awkward at first, it spares the neck and shoulders from unnecessary strain.


Maintain the Curve

As goes the back, so goes the neck. If you’re the kind of person who spends hours on their device (and who isn’t from time to time?) you can avoid straining your neck by focusing on your back.

Sitting with your shoulders back and chest out can help you keep the curve in your lower back rather than letting the whole body curve forward. You might not be as tempted or as able to lower your head to dangerous degrees if the rest of you is straight up.

Posture is always important but seldom more so than when engaged in browsing on your device.


Stop and Stretch

Where does the time go? With social media apps, video service apps, even live sports on our devices, it’s easier than ever to lose track of time.

It’s important to listen to your body when at rest and at motion. During physical exertion, we’re constantly monitoring our body’s response to the activity. The same should be done when lounging. Take a break every 20-30 minutes. Get up from your chair, stretch your shoulders, stand up straight. You can even walk around a little to reset your posture.

Devices are wonderful pieces of technology, but they aren’t completely hazard-free. Responsible browsing/surfing/watching begins with you.


Smart Devices, Smarter You

Alabama Orthopaedic Surgeons are right there with you when it comes to texting, surfing, and swiping. As more and more of our lives take place on the internet, it’s important to remember the physical body behind the digital presence.

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