As technology becomes more important in our daily lives, and more work shifts to remote, it’s important to think about the ways that our spinal health might be affected. Staring down at smartphones or sitting hunched over a desk all day can have a negative impact on your spinal health.
The first step to managing pain is prevention. However, should you find yourself with unnecessary soreness, our specialists at Motus Integrative Health can help.
Long hours working at a desk, sometimes staring down at a keyboard, can put extra stress on your body. According to the Mayo Clinic, more people working at home has led to more complaints of neck and back pain.
To tackle this pain before it begins, you’ll want to think about the way that your home workspace is set up, and whether it accommodates good posture. If you find yourself leaning forward to see the monitor, you may need to reposition it into a place that you can see without straining. Likewise, you shouldn’t have to stretch forward to reach your keyboard and mouse.
As you sit, check your posture to make sure that your back comfortably follows its natural curve and you aren’t craning your neck. When possible, take a short break to get up and walk or stretch. If you struggle with back pain, these breaks from sitting can help. Additionally, Harvard Health recommends regular physical activity to increase your strength, improve range of motion, and help ward off any future back pain.
Starting down for long periods of time can strain neck muscles, leading to soreness. Looking down at your smartphone, putting additional pressure on the neck, often leads to pain. In some cases, staring down at a phone can put as much as 60 pounds of pressure on the spine. To ease some of that pressure, try raising your smartphone closer to your face, so that you don’t have to look down at it at such a sharp angle.
While it may not seem as obvious, it’s important to note that slouching while looking at your phone can lead to back pain as well. Many people slouch or lean their shoulders forward while using cell phones, an imbalance which can contribute to back pain.
While many instances of neck and back pain are mild and resolve on their own, pain that is severe or persistent should be assessed by an expert. Pain that results from an injury or is accompanied by certain other symptoms, such as fever, may be urgent, and you should seek immediate care.
Neck and back pain are fairly common ailments, and as our reliance on technology increases, so does our risk for soreness. While correcting posture is an effective preventative measure at maintaining your spinal health, it can still be helpful to speak to a doctor about any further questions or concerns. To learn more about treatment for neck and back pain, contact our experts at Motus Integrative Health for a FREE consultation today!
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