Cellphones, tablets, and many other electronic devices have recently been on the rise. This has resulted in an increase in bad, slumped posture due to looking down on these devices. The forward head posture places strain on the neck and mid back, and can even place further strain in other areas of the body. But, can these devices also be used to manage neck pain?
A study was done in 2017 utilizing a smartphone app designed for office workers with neck pain. Based on the users responses to questions about their neck pain, the app provided a neck exercise program which was individualized to each person. The app was used twelve minutes per day, three days per week, for a total of eight weeks. The users reported significant improvement of their neck pain intensity and disability at the end of the study.
In 2020, a study was conducted with an app which promoted neck pain self management by stretching and deep breathing. This proved to be successful through respect to pain levels, muscle tension, pressure pain threshold, and cervical range of motion.
Because of the extensive research showing improvements in neck pain from the use of neck specific exercises, the results are far from shocking. These apps provide reminders to users to complete their daily exercises and track their pain progress.
For those whose neck pain is not fully improving with at home care, chiropractic treatment can be a great addition for pain management. Doctors of chiropractic specialize in diagnosing and treating the main causes of a patient’s neck pain. They deliver manual therapies to restore motion to the affected joints, which reduces pain and disability. They can even provide nutritional recommendations to aid the healing process.
Clearly, modern electronic devices are not going anywhere anytime soon. Luckily, there are steps we can take to reduce the risk of device related neck pain.
Make sure to avoid looking downward while using an electronic device, and instead hold it at eye level to avoid unnecessary strain.
Be sure to get regular exercise and stay hydrated in order keep the muscles healthy.
Inflammation may also be the cause of neck pain, so make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, manage stress, and eat more fruits and vegetables.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any further questions, or need additional help managing your neck pain.