What’s next, “modern-age mid-back?” “Desk job shoulders?”
What’s the big idea?! No doubt about it, computers and technology have made all of our lives easier, our jobs more organized, and helped our friends and families connect and share in a whole new way. Being tech savvy has also lead many of you to experiencing new aches and pains, increased muscle tension, headaches, tendonitis, and has lead to the creation of new catchy names for these conditions, like “text neck.” These postural patterns are not new at all. In fact, many young patients with these symptoms, have the same exact imbalances that an elderly, hunching patient would experience.
The brain has several “default” movement patterns for the body, namely the fetal position. Without proper central nervous system control (CNS= your brain and spinal cord), the body will automatically resort back to the flexed position. This is most easily recognized in patients with cerebral palsy, stroke survivors, and in the resultant aging processes that lead to spinal dysfunction and degeneration. This is why protecting our spinal cord, by keeping our vertebrae and intervertebral discs healthy and mobile is so important!
How Do You Get Tech Neck?
The majority of our work activities require the arms to be actively reaching out in front of our bodies, often repetitively, or for prolonged periods of time. From walking to reading, we are constantly contracting the muscles in the front (or anterior) of the neck , shoulders, and ribcage. In a compensatory mechanism, the head then begins to rotate on the uppermost spinal vertebra, or atlas, in order to remain looking forward. This creates shortened muscles just below the skull, called the suboccipital muscles, that are commonly associated with neck pain, headaches, and even jaw pain. This postural and muscular imbalance is known as upper cross syndrome (Tech Neck).
Tricks To Reduce Long Term Effects Of Tech Neck.
Simple extension exercises of the ribcage and mid-back can greatly reduce the postural strain that occurs in patients with upper cross syndrome. Although many patients may feel symptoms, like pain, stiffness, or tension, in the back of the neck and in between the shoulders, stretching these areas alone, may only provide temporary relief. Corrective stretches aim to eliminate the underlying imbalances. An overhead stretch of the arms in a doorway can alleviate shoulder and mid-back tension in a hunched over spine, expand the ribcage, and reduce long-term stress on the neck and in the lower back. Continued practice of spinal extension will assist in rewiring your neurological patterns of motion, and reduce long term effects of wear and tear!
Get Tech Neck Relief With A Chiropractic Assessment
Chiropractic assessments evaluate your body for common muscular imbalances such as upper cross syndrome, as well as, other postural patterns unique to you. By reviewing proper ergonomics in the workplace, form and function during athletics and activities, and rehabilitating your faulty movement patterns with gentle stretching and easy strengthening programs, chiropractic retrains your brain to use your muscles more effectively. Call today for a FREE 15 minute consultation with one of our highly skilled Doctors of Chiropractic, and find out how chiropractic can help you!