Is your Mobile Phone the Source of Persistent Pain?
Updated: Nov 18, 2021
The bad smartphone postures - The angle of bending head related to the pressure on the spine and body.
The mobile phone is much more than a communications device. It has become, for many people, a constant companion.
However, the use of mobile phones can affect people’s posture and have a negative influence on the body’s mechanics. It can mean neck pain, and also pain in the upper back, shoulder and arm.
The implications are potentially wide-reaching, to the extent where they could affect mobile phone users’ quality of life.
The Angled Human Head
A typical human head weighs around 4.5 to 5kg. When it moves at an angle or tilts forward, the cervical spine’s ligaments, muscles and tendons must support it.
They must also hold it in position when it is static but in a tilted position.
Intervertebral discs in the neck absorb and distribute the forces that the neck is experiencing.
The angled motion and position of the head equates to it exerting extra weight. The greater the angle the head tilts forward, the more the strain.
Now consider how often the average person will be tilting his or head forward to read their mobile phone screen, to scroll through messages, posts and other online material.
This can mean to a considerable amount of extra strain on the neck’s structures, and on the upper spine and back. Ultimately, it could lead to sort of spinal degeneration that requires surgery.
How Long on the Phone?
The average person could be spending upwards of four hours a day looking at a phone or other mobile device.
When we tilt our heads, we also move our shoulders and they become rounded. This also contributes to poor posture.
One survey has suggested people look at their phones as much as 80 times a day. They could be doing serious, cumulative physical damage to themselves.
Not So Smart
What if your smart phone was damaging your health?
Symptoms of injury due to mobile phone use can include: a tender scalp; pain behind one eye; neck pain; shoulder pain; upper back and arm pain.
Headaches from mobile phone use can be cervicogenic in origin – they are being caused by neck tension.
There is the risk of a condition known as occipital neuralgia occurring. This is where there is inflammation or injury to the nerves that run from the top of the spinal cord, at the neck’s base, up through the scalp.
Some people confuse this pain with simply having a severe headache or migraine, but its origins lie in neck injury and strain.
These headaches tend to start at the back of the head then the pain spreads out to the scalp.
Neck Pain Solutions
Neck pain is a common problem but it can also become acute or chronic. Poor posture is especially likely to put habitual mobile phone users at risk from developing some sort of condition related to this kind of injury.
Osteopathy treatment is one of the most effective ways of resolving both neck and shoulder pain.
However, as a mobile phone user, you should also consider what measures you can take, to help prevent the development of persistent pain.
While it might be unrealistic to expect everyone to reduce their smart phone use, you can take simple measure such as raising your phone to your face, rather than bending forward to look at it.
Also when you are doing extended screen work or reading, you should opt to use a laptop or desktop computer wherever possible, to avoid the kind of neck strain, and injury, associated with prolonged mobile phone use.
Are You in Pain from Your Mobile Phone?
You may have some of the symptoms mentioned here, and if so, you should consider treatment. Persistent pain can affect many different aspects of your life and work. Don’t let it.
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