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Straighten Up and Play Right: How Physiotherapy Can Help You Defy the Digital Slouch! Do you suffer from "Text Neck"?

In the age of digital dominance, our constant companions—smartphones, tablets, PCs, and video games—have seamlessly integrated into every facet of our lives. While these technological wonders bring convenience and connectivity, they also bring along silent accomplices—backache, bad posture and "text neck".


The modern lifestyle has triggered a rising wave of discomfort, as hours spent hunched over screens take a toll on our spinal health. But fear not, for in this article, we delve into the root causes and arm you with the knowledge to combat the digital dilemma.


BACKACHE - NECK PAIN - BAD POSTURE - THE CULPRITS

  1. Smartphones: The ubiquitous smartphone, a marvel of modern communication, often turns into a double-edged sword. The constant downward gaze while texting, scrolling, or gaming can lead to a condition ominously known as "text neck." This posture places an excessive strain on the neck and spine, causing chronic pain and discomfort.

  2. Tablets: The allure of portable tablets draws us into a world of endless entertainment and productivity. However, prolonged use often results in users slouching or bending over the device, wreaking havoc on the spine. The consequences manifest as persistent backaches and poor posture.

  3. PCs and Laptops: As remote work becomes the norm, the average time spent in front of computers has skyrocketed. Poor ergonomics, such as an improperly positioned monitor or an uncomfortable chair, can lead to strained muscles and an achy back.

  4. Video Games: Gaming enthusiasts, too, find themselves ensnared by the digital dilemma. Immersed in virtual worlds for extended periods, gamers frequently adopt unhealthy postures, contributing to back pain and stiffness.



VERTEBRAL DISORDERS - IS PHYSIOTHERAPY GOOD FOR SPINE PAIN

According to researchers from New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine (as published in Surgical Technology International), smartphones are considered one of the reasons for vertebral pain. The cause is attributed to the tilting of the neck and back: consistently bending over the screen affects the upper spine as the neck remains inclined for extended periods.

If you recall, when we were young and reprimanded for poor posture, our parents had a point! Researchers have also found that a 60° tilt of the head corresponds to a weight load on the spine of about 60 pounds. For a 30° angle, the load decreases to 40 pounds on the spine.

PHYSIOTHERAPY FOR POSTURE CORRECTION

"These stresses can lead to premature wear, pain, degeneration that could result in potential hospitalisations," say the researchers. "Although it's nearly impossible to avoid technology causing these problems, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones in an upright position without bending the neck."

ADVICE FROM THE FIT2GO PHYSIOTHERAPY TEAM

  1. Mindful Device Usage: Be aware of your posture while using devices. Hold smartphones and tablets at eye level to reduce strain on the neck. Ensure that your computer monitor is at eye level and invest in an ergonomic chair to support your spine.

  2. Regular Breaks and Stretching: Implement the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. Incorporate stretching exercises to alleviate muscle tension and improve flexibility.

  3. Ergonomic Accessories: Invest in ergonomic accessories, such as standing desks, ergonomic chairs, or laptop stands. These tools can significantly improve your posture and reduce the risk of backaches associated with prolonged device usage.

  4. Physiotherapy and Consultation: If persistent backache becomes an unwelcome companion, seek professional help. A physiotherapist can assess your posture, identify issues, and provide tailored exercises to strengthen and correct musculoskeletal imbalances.

Conclusion: Breaking Free from the Digital Shackles

As we navigate the vast digital landscape, it's imperative to remain vigilant about our well-being. The convenience and efficiency of our digital devices should not come at the cost of our health. By adopting mindful habits, investing in ergonomic solutions, and seeking professional physiotherapy guidance when needed, we can break free from the digital shackles that bind us to backaches and bad posture. Embrace a healthier relationship with technology, and let your spine thank you for the care it deserves.



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