The benefits of smartphones are increasing day by day and people can easily do most of their work from where they are sitting. Today, most people prefer social media and smartphones to spend their free time. Keeping the head tilted forward for a long time while using smartphones can pave the way for neck pain as well as diseases such as flattening and hernia in the neck. From Memorial Wellness Manual Medicine Department, Dr. Metin Mutlu gave information about neck pain caused by smartphones and the treatment of neck pain with manual therapy.
Having your neck bent for a long time increases the load on your spine.
The neck is located at the point where the skull connects to the spine and consists of 7 mobile vertebrae. When a person stands upright, the load given by the head to the spine and shoulders is 5 kg. During the day, when using a phone, tablet, computer, in occupational groups working at a desk or while studying, the neck naturally has to bend down. As the angle of the neck bends downward, the load on the spine increases. Keeping the neck inclined 30 degrees from its normal angle puts a load of 18-20 kilos on the body. The more frequent and longer the time spent on the phone, the more negatively the neck is affected in terms of health. Spending a lot of time in this way also causes pain that radiates to the back and waist over time. Discomforts such as neck pain, muscle tension, flattening, hernia, and calcification may occur. It can also cause introversion in the shoulders.
Smartphones cause posture disorders, especially in children
The decrease in the age of smartphone and tablet use may lead to developmental disorders when children spend long periods of time with these devices and act less at younger ages. Deterioration of neck angles at younger ages increases the risk of developing posture disorders and spinal disorders such as scoliosis and kyphosis in children. A sedentary life from an early age causes children to be overweight, musculoskeletal system problems and some metabolic diseases in later ages. Detection of spinal disorders such as scoliosis and kyphosis at an early age facilitates the treatment of these diseases before they progress too much.
You can get rid of neck pain with manual therapy
Neck pain can be easily eliminated with manual therapy. With manual therapy, the angles of motion lost by the neck can be regained. Before the treatment, the degree of movement restriction in the neck region is determined. Radiological imaging techniques are used for definitive diagnosis. Manual therapy is a specialty, it must be performed by a physician with medical training.
Movement angles of the neck are restored
Depending on the problem in the neck, the restrictions are treated by applying manual mobilization and manipulation techniques. First, the soft tissue technique and the patient's breathing are used to relieve stiffness and restrictions in the muscles. Afterwards, the treatment continues with mobilization and manipulation applications. Normal range of motion is restored to joints and muscles. Treatment of neck pain with manual therapy can take 6-8 sessions. No medication is used in the treatment of manual therapy.
Use your smartphone at chin level
Regular exercise and sports are required in order to keep the joints and muscles strong, whose range of motion is restored after manual therapy. Regular exercise, even in the home environment, in accordance with the age and physical structure of the patients, helps to protect them from many diseases by keeping their musculoskeletal systems strong. In particular, smartphones should be used in a posture where the spine of the person will be affected the least. While using the phone, the phone can be lifted up instead of tilting the head, and the phone should be used on the lap and not under the chest, but at the level of the chin and slightly below it. Although this seems unlikely today, it is necessary to avoid long-term and unnecessary use of smartphones during the day.