Low back pain is one the most common complaints for people seeking chiropractic care. However, upper back pain has been steadily on the rise due to the changes in our lifestyle and technology. Most of us own smartphones or tablets nowadays, and we are spending an increasing amount of time staring down at our phones. This does have a major impact on our posture and how we load our spines. An average head can weigh up to 4.5kg to 5kg when hea
d is held in neutral position in relation the spine. When the head translates 2 inches forward it will now weigh14kg, and 3 inches will add up to a whopping 19kg of weight on your neck!
The so called forward head carriage or “tech neck” will not only affect the neck but also the upper back. The more forward the head is carried, the more kyphotic or rounded the upper back will become. These changes can lead to a whole host of different symptoms the most common of which are:
upper back pain
pain in the shoulder blade muscles
tiredness in the muscles of the middle back
the feeling of needing to click one’s own neck/back
reduced range of motion
Some tips to improve your head carriage and rounded upper back:
Stick your chest out. Imagine that someone has a rope attached onto your chest and is pulling you up. The reaction is to automatically let your shoulders drop back and down which will lead to relaxation of your neck and shoulder muscles.
Tuck your chin closer to your chest. This will reduce the strain on the posterior (back) muscles of your neck and bring your head sitting over your shoulders instead of in front of your shoulders.
Take breaks from sitting. This will get the blood circulation back in the muscles and allow the discs to rehydrate.
Bring your phone/tablet closer to eyelevel. Elevating your phone will allow you to sustain the correct posture and reduce the strain on the muscles of the neck and upper back.
If your symptoms persist you would be advised to consult one of our chiropractors who specialise in the treatment of spine and posture related conditions.
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