This one is simple. Don’t stay in the same position for extended periods. If you are having to use your phone a lot, make sure you are not looking down at it constantly. Have breaks regularly and get the joints moving. If you are sitting all day at work, make sure you get up regularly and move the body. The old adage, ‘move it or lose it’ applies to here.
Use a better technique when looking at your phone
If you are having to look at your phone a lot there are better ways to do it safely. I saw Dr Kelly Starrett from www.mobilitywod.com show this technique at a talk he did. It is simple, but can be effective at minimising the damage. Here is how to do it:
- When sitting, hinge forward from the hips keeping the back straight.
- Rest the elbows on the thighs, holding the phone in front of you.
- Perform a chin tuck so that your neck is aligned with the body.
- You can then use the phone without having a big forward tilt of the neck .
If you are like most people I see, there is most likely a lot of tight muscles in the upper back and neck and the chest. In fact, you most likely have what is called Upper Crossed syndrome (I will show a simple test for this in another post). A good starting point to help this, is to stretch. The key areas to focus on are:
- The neck
- The chest
- The upper back
- If you are sitting a lot, it is also important to stretch the hip flexors and the hamstrings.
Restore good joint function
From a chiropractic point of view, being stuck in a poor postural position for prolonged periods of time is going to cause dysfunction in the upper back and neck. In fact, unless you free up these areas, you are going to find it difficult to make good postural changes. Having a detailed spinal assessment and appropriate chiropractic adjustments are what I suggest for this. Using devices like foam rollers, tennis/massage balls and back pods are alternatives that you can use at home and work really well in combination with chiropractic adjustments.
Strengthen the right areas
Once you have loosened up the tight muscles with stretching and improved your joint function with chiropractic care and soft tissue work, it is now time to strengthen the appropriate muscles to help prevent future problems. How do I do this you may ask? Strengthening the right areas with guided gym or band work can be beneficial. Activities like Pilates, yoga and Foundation Training are all great ways of strengthening the muscles. Talk to your trainer or health professional on what will work best for you.
There you have it, my 5 top tips for counteracting the problems associated with the excessive use of technology. I hope they will give you some relief or guidance on the right direction to head. If you have ongoing problems and would like to have them assessed please feel free to contact me. If you found this post helpful, please hit the like button below and help share it with others.