These Bad Habits Cause Neck Pain

peakhwChronic Pain, Neck Pain

Today’s bad habits, from texting to spending hours at a desk, are doing a lot more damage than you think – and here in Utah Dr. Nikesh and his team of providers are seeing more and more patients of all ages complaining of neck pain. If you have neck pain in Utah and can’t figure out why, the answer might be a swipe or click away. A recent study focused on “external occipital protuberance,” which is a bump many people have at the base of their skull where the neck muscles attach to the cranium.

Habits You May Not Recognize You Have

Not everyone has this bump, but if you do, there’s a good chance you’re one of many people in North Ogden, Layton, and Cache Valley with neck pain. According to the study, this bump can occur due to “sustained aberrant postures associated with the emergence and extensive use of hand-held contemporary technologies.” In other words, your phone or tablet might have you in for a “bumpy” road ahead.

Growing a bump might sound dramatic, but in reality, it doesn’t happen to everyone and it’s not noticeable to anyone except you and a medical professional. However, what is alarming about this study is just how severe our tech habits are. The US National Library of Medicine published an article that revealed people’s posture when they text negatively affects the spine. Most people also tend to tilt their head when texting, exacerbating neck and back issues.

The average weight of a human head is about 11 pounds. However, when craning the neck forward to stare at a screen, that force can increase to 27 – 60 pounds depending on the angle. With time, this can lead to a “forward head carriage,” permanently straining the neck and upper spine. If this isn’t corrected, it can lead to pinched nerves, bone spurs, headaches, and even nerve issues or disc degeneration.

Cell Phone Use Alone Can Cause “Text Neck”

Kenneth K. Hansraj is chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine. He wrote about the epidemic of most adults keeping their head down to look at their devices. Hansraj’s research was published in in Surgical Technology International He found that by tilting your head forward only 15 degrees can create a force on the cervical spine of up to 27 pounds.

Talk To Peak Health About Your Neck Pain

The study considered people who spent up to four hours per day staring at screens. That’s 1,400 hours per year, and high schoolers are the worst offenders of all averaging a whopping 5,000 hours per yearFortunately, help is available with Peak Health and Wellness. Schedule a detailed evaluation today by booking your appointment online.