Is your smartphone damaging your neck?
Do you spend too much time looking down at your smartphone?
Is this causing you neck pain, headaches, tension or a pinched nerve? This could all be coming from looking down at your smartphone.
A recent study found that looking down at a smartphone such as an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy can load an extra 50lbs of weight onto your neck! The study concluded that these additional stresses on the neck could lead to quicker wear and tear of the cervical spine (neck).
This additional pressure on the neck increases loading on the muscles, joints, discs and nerves in the neck area. Lets look at each element:
- Muscle loading increases muscle tension in the neck and shoulder girdle leading to myofascial trigger points
- Joint pressure stresses the facet joints, which are small joints on the sides of the vertebrae of the spine
- Disc pressure over time leads the disc shape to deform or change slightly, which in time can lead to a compressed nerve
- Nerves that exit the spinal column in the neck run down the arm towards the hand, increased pressure over in the neck can pinch these nerves causing pain, tingling, numbness and sometimes loss of power!
Our 4 quick fixes
- Raise your phone up towards eye-level, rather than looking down at your phone.
- Do our simple smartphone exercise programme
- Keep your chin tucked in gently when using your smartphone, this prevents the common “Poking Chin” posture that causes so much neck ache.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed while using your phone. Ensure that you gently pull your shoulders down and back towards your shoulder blades.
The study estimates that people spend on average 2-4 hours a day looking at their smarthphone screen.
At our private physiotherapy clinics in Hendon NW4 Hamptead NW3 and East Finchley N2 we treat neck pain, trapped nerves, headaches and RSI related problems from using excessive smartphone use.
You can call us for same day physiotherapy appointments which are usually available between 8am and 9pm.