You are in 21st Century and today's young generation are well attracted to electronic gadgets in their hands. it's lot of addiction these days, as you spend almost 8 - 10 hrs in front of this gadgets. Use of Smart Phone, I Pads, Laptop and desktop for your occupation for reading, playing games, texting your friends and reading books,has really taken a toll on your neck.
Continuous looking down (medically - forwards bending / forwards head) is what mechanical dysfunction in the neck has been recorded in the young population leading to problem such as spondylitis to be seen in early stage of life. however this is one of the several causes of Cervical spondylosis / spondylitis to been seen in young generation. Lack of Nutrition or vitamin is also a source.
How does this Mechanical Dysfunction happen over usage of the phone, desktop and laptop.
Cervical (ie. Neck ) has 7 Spinal bones (Vertebrae) divided into 3 subcranial (skull, c1 and c2) and 4 real cervical vertebrae. subcranial movement for limited to do only nodding (Yes) or Rotation (NO), rest 4 are actual movement of the neck - (forwards bending, Backwards Bending, Side Bend and Side Rotation).
your neck is in C SHAPE (i.e Lordosis ) to support your skull in its maximum stability. Movement which is usually adapted over prolonged usage of gadgets are forward bending and side bend. which leads to altered biomechnics while movement
how hazardous are these, forwards bend/ forward head posture - mechanical dysfunction( i.e displacement of the vertebrae in adaption to the posture from its normal alignment of the spinal curve) or in other words - posture adapted as a habit, natural tendency, slouching and other.
forwards bending or forwards head posture leads to
When you spend time on the gadgets
1. To maintain head in neutral, your skull bend backward on the upper 2 cervical vertebrae - causing the neck muscle at C1 and C2 to shorten (Sub occipital/Sub Cranial muscle) - leading to compression of nerve causing occipital and temporal headache.
2. The spasm in the rest of vertebrae (C3 - C7) causes loss of lordosis (i.e straightening of neck curve from C shape), prolonged muscular spasm causes wear and tear of the vertebrae capsule leading to Conventional SPONDYLOSIS.
3. Muscle usually Trapezius, SCM (infront of neck) and Levator Scapulae are tightened enough and become weak resultant of length tension relationship.
4. Tightness in muscle affect the ligament and capsule as load is more on these structure leading to compromising of the foramen to cause nerve compression, which result in tingling and numbness sensation in the hands.
5. Your cervical discs (Space between vertebrae) can shear causing disc to slip backward causing impingement on the nerve roots.
6. Forward head posture force JAW to open, to keep the jaw closed, the muscle surrounding the jaw muscle are tightened causing increased compressive force of TMJ joint giving pain in jaw while eating.
7. Shoulder are protracted forward causing impingement in rotator cuff tendon, causing shoulder pain.
8. Thoracic outlet syndrome is seen due to overactivity of abdominal muscle, decreasing diaphragmatic breathing and increasing load of neck muscles.
to brief ,conditions like cervical spondylosis, spondylitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, nerve impingement, rotator cuff impingement, neck pain, fatigue, Jaw pain and Headache are diagnosed.
How do you prevent this
- Avoid long usage of electronic products. Take regular and frequents break while working. do not sit in one position for long.
- Avoid forward bending, keep the gadgets at your eye level to avoid bending and at s safer distance of 50 cms from eyes.
- Arms should be rested at arm rest at 90 degree
- Stretch your shoulder and neck muscle before you start your work on desktop.
- Use cervical pillow while sleeping straight.
- Regular shoulder and neck exercises to be followed.
- Ice Packs after a strenuous work for 15 - 20 Min
- Deep tissue massage once a week
- Consult physical therapist once a week to align your neck and spine correctly.
- Dry needling for removal of knots if present in muscles