San Rafael Chiropractor Sees Increase in Text Neck and Numb Thumb
February 25, 2016
Let’s admit it. Your cell phone and tablet are a pain in the neck. And probably in the hands and thumbs, too.
Across San Rafael, my adult patients are not the only ones experiencing digitally induced pain and stiffness. Children are also feeling the distress of text neck and numb thumb.
With our digital devices practically attached to our bodies, we’re all spending a lot of time looking down. So our necks, designed to carry a standard 10-pound head, are feeling the equivalent stress of six extra heads to support. No wonder we have aching necks and shoulders, not to mention stiff hands and tingling thumbs from constant texting, emailing and web searching.
Symptoms of digital device overuse
Neck, shoulder and upper back pain and stiffness
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Prevent pain and injury
Keep your head in a more neutral position by using a tablet stand, and elevate your phone out of your lap to eye level
Take frequent breaks from your device (go for a walk without your phone!)
Try swimming or yoga for circulation and muscle relaxation
Hand stretches for strength and limberness Work these simple stretches into your day to relieve stiffness and promote flexibility.
Let your wrist soften so fingers point to the floor
Extend your arm at shoulder level, palm down
Use your free hand to gently tilt your fingers back toward your body
Hold for 10 to 30 seconds, repeat with other hand
Chin tucks for a happier neck
To help build a stronger neck and pull your head into better alignment, try these easy tucking exercises.
Keeping your shoulders still, gradually pull your head back to create a double chin and feel a stretch at the back of your neck
Release to your original position
Repeat 10 times, several times a day
Sit up straight in a chair with your chin parallel to the floor
Next steps for healing If taking phone/tablet breaks and stretching aren’t enough to relieve your discomfort, I can help. For hand and wrist issues, I start with trigger point release (a targeted massage) of the wrist and forearm followed by passive mobility stretches. Then I make chiropractic adjustments to ensure the 26 hand and wrist bones are in proper alignment. This sets the stage for pain relief and healing.
I can help you conquer neck and shoulder pain with a similar approach. Trigger point massage, passive stretches and chiropractic adjustments foster ongoing healing.