Tech Neck: Your 9 to 5 Could Be a Literal Pain in the Neck
Tech neck is happening everywhere. Americans spend an estimated 9 hours engaged in screen time with a large percentage of that time being on portable mobile devices like phones and tablets. The position most people take is putting a tremendously dangerous amount of stress on their spine, day after day. Failure to modify activities and REVERSE the damage that has already occurred will eventually lead to a crisis situation if not addressed. It’s not your fault, you see people just don’t realize they should be maintaining their spines from birth. By the time pain is occurring, the problem has already been there for some time and, most likely, caused damage … some of it irreversible.Pain from tech neck can arise from several different areas: muscles, ligaments, joints or nerve irritation. Muscular problems tend to resolve spontaneously within 4-6 weeks. If you have a persistent problem that has lasted more than 2 months or keeps coming back, you need to get it checked. The constant downward movement can lead to increased pressures in the discs of your neck. The spinal discs are shock absorbers located between the vertebra (bones in your spine). A healthy disc space between the vertebra also allows for proper spacing for your spinal nerves to exit the spinal cord. Tech neck can damage discs causing problems in a couple different ways:
1) A disc that is degenerating is one that is shrinking in size and losing a good amount of fluid contained within the disc. This is a process that typically takes place over a number of years and is a problem that you may not be aware of until it gets to the point where enough of the space is lost and pressure is applied to the nerve.
2) The disc can cause pain is a disc bulge or herniation. This is when the outer edges of the disc become injured and can not properly contain the disc material and a bulge is formed. If this bulge or herniation is large enough, pressure can be put on a nerve and a number of symptoms can result from this pressure. Some of the symptoms caused by this pressure are: pain shooting down your arm, numbness or tingling in your hands or finger tips, loss of muscle strength in your arm or hand, and in an emergency situations there can be loss of function, sensation and control in the affected area (arm, hand or fingers).
The doctors in North Center and Ravenswood’s phyxMe Physical Therapy may treat these two conditions differently and always do a thorough evaluation to find out what joints and nerves are causing the pain and why they are causing the pain. For example, if it is the facet joints causing the pain, there is a good chance that a patient may respond better to traditional chiropractic care. If the patient has a disc bulge or herniation, treating the patient with non-surgical spinal decompression and advanced spinal remodeling techniques.
Chicago based phyxMe Physical Therapy is located on the north side of Chicago in the Ravenswood or North Center neighborhood. North Center is close to both the Lakeview, Andersonville, and Lincoln Square neighborhoods. For more information or to schedule an initial evaluation for your low back pain, please call (773) 852-3335.