Is Tech Neck Real?

Tech Neck

Cell phones and tablets are a modern-day convenience that make many things in our day-to-day routine easier for us. Despite the convenience factor, many people would agree that they can be a real pain in the neck, literally. Virtually unheard of 5 years ago, tech neck is a term used to describe the neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or other wireless devices too frequently and for too long. This strain injury is becoming increasingly popular in patients of all ages. Aggravating muscle pain in the neck, shoulders and lower back is occurring even in teens and adolescents.

How can these small mobile devices cause so much pain? It’s all in how you look at it. Literally. Dropping your head forward when looking down changes the natural curvature of your neck. This repetitive positioning can put extra and unnecessary strain on your muscles and cause uncomfortable wear and tear on the structure of your neck.

Neck muscles when aligned in their proper position, are designed to support the weight of your head (about 10 to 12 pounds). Research shows that for every inch you drop your head forward, you double the load on those muscles. Looking down at your smartphone, with your chin to your chest, can put about 60 pounds of force on your neck.

Besides muscle pain, tech neck can cause a host of other health concerns. Sitting in a slumped position restricts your lungs’ ability to expand, impairing your lung capacity. Inhaling less oxygen means your heart needs to pump harder to distribute more oxygen-carrying blood through your body. 

Three Tips To Prevent Tech Neck

Straighten Up. Learn proper posture and neck alignment by peeking at your profile in a mirror. If you’re standing correctly, you should be able to draw a vertical line from your ear to your shoulder. 

Arch Back. If your posture isn’t perfect, try doing some shoulder extensions. Arch your neck and upper back backward, pulling your shoulders into alignment under your ears. This simple stretch can alleviate stress and muscle pain. 

Look Forward. Rather than tilting your chin down to read your mobile device, raise the device to eye level. The same goes for your desktop computer. Your monitor screen should be at eye level so your head isn’t perpetually dropping and causing muscle strain. 

Benefits of Water Exercise

Benefits of Water Exercise

1.Strengthens Muscles and Builds Stamina – Aerobics, in general, focuses on large muscles such as those in your limbs. Combine it with water resistance and you’re left with stronger muscles! The force of water from all directions on your body’s surface acts like weights tied all over your body, doing what dumbbells and kettle-bells would do if you were working out on land – but on a larger scale.  Warm up outside the pool with exercises you intend to do in the water, like spot jogging or high knees. This will help you maintain proper form while doing the same exercises in water. 

2. Improves Flexibility and Range of Motion- While exercising on land, your body movements are restricted by the effects of gravity and the fear of falling. When in water, you can let go of these worries. You can fearlessly increase your range of motion, exerting muscles that you would not otherwise be able to exert outside water. Do water exercises to improve back and lower body flexibility. While performing stretches, overcome your mental block about your range of motion. 

3. Offers Relief From Chronic Pain- Gentle waves hitting against you have a massaging effect on your skin – which is why a major benefit of water exercise is pain relief. By working against the water’s resistance, you can reduce stiffness and soreness to a great extent.  The best part? All types of pain will improve – pain in your joints, muscles, and everything in between. 

4. Supports Bone Health By Increasing Bone Density – Most people reach their peak bone mass by the age of 30. Therafter, bone density declines, increasing the chances for osteoporosis and fractures. The loss in bone mass is a major problem of aging, particularly in postmenopausal women. Postmenopausal women over the age of 50 have the highest risk of osteoporosis. 

5. Rectifies Body Posture and Treats Spine Problems – The buoyancy of water supports the entire body, including weak muscles, allowing you to maintain proper balance when standing in water. With the added advantage of improved flexibility and mobility, exercising in water will benefit your posture. you will be able to elongate your spine to the entirety of its natural length without any discomfort. The water resistance will also make you more self-aware of your posture, helping you further. 

6. Encourages Weight Loss – Aerobic workouts are the best for losing weight, even more so if you’re worried about injuries common in weight training. Aquatic exercises are highly recommended for those fighting obesity. The feeling of weightlessness and the ease on your joints will allow you to do a lot more than what you may normally be able to do. 

7. Protects The Heart By Lowering Blood Pressure – Water aerobics improve blood circulation in your body. In one study, a 10-week course of water aerobics markedly reduced blood pressure in patients diagnosed with high blood pressure. Also, with the force of water on the lower half of your body, blood can easily return to your heart without your heart having to work extra hard for it. So, while you expect your heart rate to increase as much as it would if you exercised on land, the increase is much lower. Don’t let your heart rate be a measure of your workout intensity when exercising in water. 

8. Promotes Healthy Bowel Function – Thanks to all the muscle toning and strengthening, your pelvic muscles too get a good workout. This will help prevent incontinence by restricting the movement of stool in the intestines. You will gain more control over your bowel movement, allowing nature to call only when you want it to through voluntary bowel movement. So, if you’re dealing with bowel problems, do some water exercises. If weak pelvic muscles are the culprit, this activity will help. 

9. Gets Rid of Stress – Like all forms of exercise, water workouts too help reduce stress by releasing feel-good hormones called endorphins. In addition, they encourage oxygen flow to your muscles and regulate your breathing. 



This article is a repost from Cure Joy health & well-being blog. See full article:

Moving From Patient to Person

*This is a repost from the American Chronic Pain Association*

Making the journey from patient to person takes time. The isolation and fear that can overwhelm a person with chronic pain grows over time. And the return to a fuller, more rewarding life also takes time. It’s a journey with many phases. The ACPA (American Chronic Pain Association) describes these phases as Ten Steps. 

The ACPA’s Ten Steps For Moving From Patient To Person

Step 1: Accept the Pain 

Learn all you can about your physical condition. Understand that there may be no current cure and accept that you will need to deal with the fact of pain in your life. 

Step 2: Get Involved

Take an active role in your own recovery. Follow your doctor’s advice and ask what you can do to move from a passive role into one of partnership in your own health care. 

Step 3: Learn to Set Priorities 

Look beyond your pain to the things that are important in your life. List the things that you would like to do. Setting priorities can help you find a starting point to lead you back into a more active life. 

Step 4: Set Realistic Goals 

We all walk before we run. Set goals that are within your power to accomplish or break a larger goal down into manageable steps. And take time to enjoy your successes.

Step 5: Know Your Basic Rights 

We all have basic rights. Among these are the right to be treated with respect, to say no without guilt, to do less than humanly possible, to make mistakes, and to not need to justify your decisions, with words or pain. 

Step 6: Recognize Emotions 

Our bodies and minds are one. Emotions directly affect physical well being. By acknowledging and dealing with your feelings, you can reduce stress and decrease the pain you feel. 

Step 7: Learn to Relax 

Pain increases in times of stress. Relaxation exercises are one way of reclaiming control of your body. Deep breathing, visualization, and other relaxation techniques can help you to better manage the pain you live with. 

Step 8: Exercise 

Most people with chronic pain fear exercise. But unused muscles feel more pain than toned flexible ones. With your doctor, identify a modest exercise program that you can do safely. As you build strength, your pain can decrease. You’ll feel better about yourself too. 

Step 9: See the Total Picture 

As you learn to set priorities, reach goals, assert your basic rights, deal with your feelings, relax and regain control of your body, you will see that pain does not need to be the center of your life. You can choose to focus on your abilities, not your disabilities. You will grow stronger in your belief that you can live a normal life in spite of chronic pain. 

Step 10: Reach Out 

It is estimated that one person in three suffers with some form of chronic pain. Once you have begun to find ways to manage your chronic pain problem, reach out and share what you know. Living with chronic pain is an ongoing learning experience. We all support and learn from each other.

To see full article from The American Chronic Pain Association please click here.