In our modern world of mobile devices, a new neck injury has arisen. Referred to as “text neck,” it results from the forward flexion of the cervical spine as you look downwards on your mobile device. As you can see in the above picture, the individual’s neck is bent forward as he or she spends hours per day perusing work emails, apps, games and social media. This places the spine in a position that is unnatural and places undue pressure on the spinal discs as well as the muscles running from your upper back to your neck and skull. Evenutally one or both of these systems will begin to be symptomatic.
As you can see below, the natural position for the neck is straight, with a slight backward curve. This allows the muscles to be in a normal position and the right amount of pressure to be placed on the discs. Think of text neck as essentially a slow motion whiplash. And if left unchecked, it can result in an unnatural loss of curvature in the cervical spine as well as disc bulging and nerve impingement.
Symptoms of text neck include:
burning sensation in the upper back or base of neck
pain in the base of the skull
tingling in the forearms and hands
headaches and/or nausea
There are ergonomic ways to use your mobile devices and you should be well versed in them.
If your pain is not subsiding, see a professional that understands how to treat text neck. Treatment should include:
electric stimulation of neck muscles
myofascial release therapy
and perhaps even manipulation
Don’t wait for the problem to worsen, get diagnosed and treated and change your habits. You don’t want a serious neck condition in 5 to 10 years!
As a former wrestler and commercial fisherman, and now a forty-something jiu jitsu competitor and weight lifter I have had many opportunities to wreck my body. Somehow I avoided injuries that could side line me for more than a couple weeks for the past 10 years. Except for moderate to minor rib cage and ligamentous injuries, I have been pushing my body fairly hard despite my age and the much younger age of my competitors and training partners.Continue reading →
More than 50% of my work is done with people who have suffered a whiplash. Most car accidents are the result of a stationary vehicle being rear ended by a moving vehicle. Usually at stop lights. This causes the unsuspecting car driver to undergo a “flexion-extension” injury commonly known as the whiplash.
The approach we use is the one recommended by the 2008 Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
This research group reviewed the world wide body of peer reviewed journal articles on whiplash treatments to determine what was the most effective course of action.
Not surprisingly, they echoed the same findings that most other major research councils have produced in the past 20 or so years:
1. exercise rehabilitation
The council found that a program focusing on strengthening the neck, upper body and core was the bed rock of whiplash treatments. Which is exactly what our clinic does first and foremost with our patients.
2. early return to work and recreation
Unless the whiplash is severe, patients should be encouraged to slowly and safely begin sometheir pre-accident lifestyle before all symptoms of whiplash are gone. Again, this is our method of operating with our whiplash patients. We want them to “test drive” their necks and bodies before we are done with our treatment regimen. This ensures they do not slip into a hyper-victimized mindset and allows them to get better faster.
3. Manual therapy
This represents any combination of massage, stretching and joint mobilization/manipulation. Essentially, anything “hands on” that has been proven to be effective. Often, patients need a customized program of manual therapy. In other words, not all pegs fit in the same holes. Some get all of the above, while some get two or less of the above. All depending on what seems to benefit them.
Our clinic keeps up on all major research in the areas of our expertise. And we are proud to deliver cutting edge, evidence based treatments to get our patients through the difficulties of a whiplash as smoothly and quickly as possible.