Q: I think my phone is hurting my neck! Have you heard of this complaint from others?
A: Technology brings lots of good things to our lives, putting information and communication potential at our fingertips. Technology can also be a pain in the neck. Literally. Many times I have patients complain of unexplained neck and upper back pain, rarely do they knowingly blame it on their phone or computer or other device. The way I find that this is the cause is through thorough questioning. Once we start to uncover their habits and daily activities, most people don’t argue that these are likely the culprit for their pain.
The constant looking down and manipulation of tiny keyboards on iPhones, gaming devices and any of the other numerous phones and pads that are on the market today can cause pain not only in the neck—Florida chiropractor Dean L. Fishman has dubbed the problem “text neck”—but also in the shoulders and the back. It’s not uncommon, for instance, for a youngster, hunched over a device, to send more than a hundred text messages in a day.
The American Chiropractic Association recommends that when using one of these devices, you do your best to maintain good posture. Sit in a chair that provides good support and lets you keep your feet comfortably on the floor. Also, whenever possible, hold the device at eye level rather than looking down at it. Take a break from your gadget periodically and give those muscle groups a rest, especially if you feel muscle pain or start to get a headache.
It is very common for people to seek out a chiropractor for these problems and the effect is tremendous relief in most cases. This is an easy situation for a chiropractor to help and typically a person can become very educated to help themselves not succumb to the problem again frequently, but if you are forced to use devices on a regular basis then regular “maintenance” adjustments may just need to be a part of your life. Talk with your chiropractor about the safe way to engage in your favorite tech activity.
Studies indicate that women with the lowest amounts of B-12 are more prone toward fractures from rapid hip bone loss. Younger individuals do not normally have low levels of this vitamin. However, reduced amounts become more commonplace as these women move into their senior years.
When you next visit your Doctor of Chiropractic, discuss what vitamins are required for your age, gender and degree of exercise. Because chiropractors are experts in the field of musculoskeletal treatment, they know the proper nutrition and supplements for their patients to remain healthy.
This approach to bone health is best used proactively. Surely, if you have been told your bone density is low, supplementing with B-12 is a great part of your nutritional approach, but that is too late to start to be concerned about it. Supplementation of the vitamins and minerals your body needs is easy and relatively inexpensive. There is no reason to wait until your body is depleted enough to give you symptoms of disease to start a daily multivitamin and multimineral supplementation program.
Chiropractors are great source for this type of healthcare advice. Be aware, there is no regulation of the nutriceuticals industry and good products that are manufactured in a way to improve your health, and not just the manufacturer’s bottom line, are typically available to healthcare professionals only. I am less confident in retail products.
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