My Aching Neck!!!

My Aching Neck!!!

My Aching Neck!!!

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We have all been scolded at one point or another for bad posture. Well, now more and more evidence is coming out linking poor posture to chronic neck and back pain. Part of the reason for our posture is due to modern society….no, that does not take the blame away from you. Spending a majority of the day in a flexed posture, such as working on the computer, sitting in a car, reading, writing, and watching television leads to alterations of the body’s normal alignment. Your muscles have to work harder in order to adjust for the change in posture and to compensate for the altered center of gravity so you literally don’t fall over. Over time, this can lead to permanent changes on the spine (such as becoming ‘round shouldered’).

One of the things we do seemingly all day, every day, is use our smart phones. An article recently published in Surgical Technology International and featured on the NBC nightly news highlights how much stress this simple task places on our neck. Reading with the neck flexed in the typical 60 degree position, whether on a smart phone or newspaper, places 60 pounds of extra force on the neck. This is equivalent to 6 x10 pound bowling balls or the weight of an average 8 year old. Obviously, the more time you spend in this position, the more stress you place on the neck. More stress will likely accelerate degeneration of the spine and cause pain. Angles less than 60 degrees still do place excessive stress on the neck, so basically any prolonged period of time spent in the flexed position results in increased strain on the neck.

So outside of never reading, writing, or using your smart phone, what should you do? The simple answer is to perform as much of this activity as possible at eye level. Adjust your computer monitor, read with the newspaper up, use a Dictaphone when possible, and read your texts/e-mails/e-books with the device elevated. When your head is in neutral, your neck should be in proper alignment (depending on your baseline posture). Another solution that I recommend is to take frequent breaks (every 20-30 minutes) from activities which cause your neck to be flexed and adjust your posture. This can be as simple as squeezing your shoulder blades together for 5-10 seconds. This simple exercise will not only help improve your posture, but will also strengthen the muscles that support your shoulder blades and upper back.

Yet more proof that your grandma knew what she was talking about…

Citations

  • Nurwulan NR, Jiang BC, Iridiastadi H. Posture and Texting: Effect on Balance in Young Adults. PLoS One. 2015;10(7):e0134230. PubMed PMID: 26230323

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Author and Contributor to www.Spine-Health.com – July, 2015

www.Spine-Health.com/author/john-h-shim-md-facs

Chief of Surgery, Mease Countryside and Mease Dunedin Hospitals, Safety Harbor and Dunedin, Florida. 2014-2016.

Orthopaedic Section Chief Mease Countryside Hospital; Safety Harbor, Florida Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.2008-2013

Board Member Morton Plant Mease Research Council

Co-Director of Mease Neuro-Ortho Spine Center Mease Dunedin Hospital; Dunedin, Florida.

One of “6 Spine Physicians Ranked #1 on Google” – December 2016

Top Ten Most Liked Spine Surgeons on the Internet – July 2016

2016 Spine Surgeons to Know list – January 2016

2014 Spine Specialists to know list – September 2014

One of Ten Leaders of Certified Spine Programs – December 2011

 

The Best Orthopedics in Tampa

The information provided on this website does not provide or should be considered medical advice. It is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment of any condition. The information provided is for informational purposes only. You should not rely solely on the information provided on this website in making a decision to pursue a specific treatment or advice. You should consult directly with a professional healthcare provider.

As a condition of using the information on this website, ShimSpine and its physicians are not responsible for any advice, diagnosis, treatment or outcome you may obtain.

ShimSpine.com is completely self-funded. No outside funds are accepted or used. This website does not utilize paid advertising as a source of revenue.
Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations. www.Spine-Health.com. January 2016.

What is Spinal Stenosis? www.Spine-Health.com. October 2015.

Surgeon insights on the Changing Landscape of Orthopedic Care. OrthopedicToday. June 2014

Chapter 33: Interspinous Spacers. Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

Chapter 35: Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Lumbar Fusion Technique.Shim JH, Mazza JS, Kim DH Published in Minimally Invasive Percutaneous Spinal Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Published 2011)

March 2010 Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting New Orleans, Louisiana February 2010

February 2010 A Review of Dynamic Stabilization in the Lumbar Spine Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

November 2009 Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Community Based Lecture; Tampa, Florida

September 2009 Instructor/Proctor Minimally Invasive Lumbar Cadaver Lab; Tampa, Florida

February 2009 New Spinal Technology: Cervical Disc Replacement and Interspinous Spacers. Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

February 2008 The Degenerative Spine: The Role of Dynamic Lumbar Stablization and Interspinous Spacers Selby Spine Symposium; Park City, Utah

October 2008 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

September 2007 Emerging Technology in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

October 2006 Emerging Technology and Techniques in Spinal Surgery Orthopaedics in the 21st Century Symposium; Morton Plant Mease Healthcare; Largo, Florida

May 2005 The Role of Kyphoplasty in the Treatment of Vertebral Compression Fractures Mease Neurosciences Symposium; Clearwater, Florida
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