A recent study found higher rates of disc degeneration (arthritis) in the necks of participants with smartphone overuse as compared to those with normal use. Whatever your phone usage is, make sure you have healthy form! Check out our tips on safe mobile phone use.
#TextNeck #NeckPain #HealthyCellPhoneUse
TEXT NECK: Pain and soreness in your neck.
- Limit Phone Use — the more time you spend on your phone, the more conscious you have to be about a healthy posture
- Take a break at least every 20 minutes — if you have to be on your phone, break it up!
- Sit with good posture — try to keep your ears lined up directly over your shoulders, pinch shoulder blades together, and look straight-forward, not down.
- Hold your phone at eye level — this will help you to look straight forward, which means less bending.
- Avoid cradling the phone between your ear and neck — holding this unnatural posture for a long time can cause pain
EYE STRAIN: Red, dry eyes. Blurry vision.
- Put your phone away 30 minutes before bed — blue light from your phone can cause eye strain, disrupt sleep, suppress melatonin, and shift circadian rhythms… yikes!
- Use night shift in the evening — if you need to be on your phone at night, take this precaution!
- Use blue light computer glasses in the daytime — blue light glasses mimic the night shift feature on your phone to filter out the harmful blue light.
DAMAGE TO YOUR EARDRUMS: Difficulty hearing, ringing or buzzing in the ears.
- Use your phone’s speaker when possible — this will help to limit harsh sound waves that can damage your hearing.
- Control volume levels — Headphones are capable of causing permanent damage when turned up.
ELBOW PAIN: Discomfort and pain in the elbow joint
- Avoid keeping your elbow bent for extended periods of time — this means when you’re texting or at work using your desktop
- Take stretch breaks — this will give your elbows a chance to move.
DISRUPTIVE THOUGHTS: Inability to concentrate or focus on the task at hand.
- Limit your usage — give your mind a chance to be bored.
- Develop a routine for checking emails and social media — this will help you to stay accountable
- Don’t give in to FOMO (Fear of missing out) — turn off your social media to help!
- Have no phone zones, like the dining table and bedroom
- Keep your phone at least 1 foot away from you when you sleep — try putting it on the far end of your night stand
- Turn off notifications — you wouldn’t tolerate an annoying person who interrupts you every 3 minutes.
- Make your smartphone a “dumb phone” by placing only essential apps (navigation, text, call, calendar) on your main page and avoiding any others during downtimes
- Transfer your focus from your e-life and enjoy a real-life — be active!
If you are having pain and difficulty moving your neck, wrist, and shoulders, you cell phone use might be the culprit. Fortunately, there are some exercises to help you alleviate some discomfort. However, a consultation at our office will help us diagnose your symptoms and tailor a treatment plan to help your specific needs.
Take micro-breaks and look up at least each minute and stretch periodically.
1 set of 10 reps, 3 times per day
Sit or stand looking forward with good posture. Tuck your chin to create a double chin. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds. Return to the starting position. Focus your vision on a spot on the wall to avoid neck flexion or extension. To progress, place a finger on your chin, and apply backward pressure at end range. Imagine that your head is on drawer slides. Keep your mouth closed. Perform 1 set of 10 repetitions 3-10 times per day. Alternately, this exercise may be performed standing with your back against a wall. Your buttocks and shoulder blades should be in contact with the wall. Tuck your chin to make a “double chin” until the base of your skull contacts the wall, relax and repeat as directed.
3 set of 10 reps, 2 times per day
Stand facing a wall with your palms on the wall at shoulder level, fingers pointing up, elbows straight. While keeping your arms straight, lean in with your chest and pinch your shoulder blades together. Next, push away from the wall to allow your shoulder blades to slide forward on your rib cage. Perform as directed.
1 set of 20 reps, 2 times per day
Begin by making a fist. First, flex your fist downward, then bring your wrist back to a neutral position. Straighten your fingers and thumb so that all five tips are pointing forward. Bend your wrist back/up as to make a “stop” motion and move your thumb away from your palm. Turn your wrist palm up. Use your opposite hand to pull your thumb further away from your palm. Perform 20 repetitions twice per day or as directed.
- Al-Hadidi F, Bsisu I, AlRyalat SA, et al. Association between mobile phone use and neck pain in university students: A cross-sectional study using numeric rating scale for evaluation of neck pain. PLoS One. 2019;14(5):e0217231. Published 2019 May 20. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0217231
- http://www.fda.gov/Radiation, Emitting Products/Radiation
- National Safety Council. Cell phones are involved in an estimated 27 percent of all car crashes, says National Safety Council. June 17, 2015. Accessed from: https://www.nsc.org/in-the-newsroom/cell-phones-are-involved-in-an-estimated-27-percent-of-all-car-crashes-says-national-safety-council