Tech neck is caused by hunching over your phone.

 

Smart phone addiction and tech neck came up in conversation several times this week. Wellness professionals are expecting smart phone addiction to become an even bigger problem in years to come as younger generations join the workforce. However, the most alarming conversation was with a Stryker spine representative who mentioned that teenagers are already consulting spine surgeons about tech neck pain. 

Chronic pain is common and costly

Pain is a leading cause of disability and a major contributor to healthcare utilization. The resulting lost wages, productivity and employment increase the total cost. The annual US cost for treatment and lost wages related to musculoskeletal disorders is more than $200 billion.

According to a 2016 National Health Statistics Report more than 50% of US adults had a musculoskeletal pain disorder in 2012 of which 14.3% reported neck pain. Fortunately, people suffering with neck pain are finding relief with complementary health approaches.

Complimentary health approaches to manage tech neck

  • Natural products which includes dietary supplements and special diets.
  • Practitioner-based therapies including Alexander technique, chiropactic or osteopathic manipulation, Feldenkrais, massage therapy and trigger psychophysical integration
  • Mind and Body approaches including meditation, progressive relaxation, Pilates, tai chi, qi gong and yoga
  • Whole medical systems including Ayurveda, acupuncture, homeopathy, naturopathy and traditional healers.

Mind and Body approaches are one of the most common approaches used to manage neck pain despite a lack of health insurance coverage because they work.

Prevention is possible

Mind and Body approaches are the least expensive and easiest to incorporate into your lifestyle.

Incorporating Mind and Body approaches into your lifestyle

1/ Assess your level of motivation. 

If working out has never been your favorite thing to do, you may need a nudge to make it a habit. Working out with a an instructor, group or friends can help. 

2/ Assess your level of knowledge.

Doing exercises with correct form is as important as working out. Pick workouts that are right for your health status and fitness level so that you master the exercises and enjoy the experience.

3/ Create a budget.

If you don’t have a fitness benefit or insurance coverage, try some of the community workouts and free video workouts to stretch your budget.

Starting a home practice

If you’re working out at home, invest in a few exercise basics. Buy what you can and add things over time to keep your workouts fresh and challenging.

 

If you have medical concerns or need medical clearance to workout, schedule a call with your doctor or Peter Gerbino MD. Dr. Gerbino is an Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in sports medicine. He contributes to the Wellbeing blog on a regular basis.

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