Neck pain, other technology-induced injuries are focus of awareness campaign

Oct 10 2011
Consumers of electronics need to be aware of neck pain, back pain, sore thumbs and other injuries caused by gadgets such as smartphones and laptops, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

October is National Chiropractic Health Month, and for 2011, the ACA has decided to focus on repetitive stress conditions brought on by electronics through their new campaign, "Get TechnoHealthy!"

The spinal cord that connects the brain to the rest of the body is protected by the vertebrae, facet joints and the intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers in between the bones. Injury, disease or age-related degeneration to any of these structures, or the surrounding muscles and ligaments, can cause pain. Repetitive stress conditions, such as bad posture from constant use of cell phones and computers, can take a toll on the neck and back, as well as the wrists and thumbs, the ACA said.

"Our bodies are made to move—not to maintain the same stooped-over posture for long periods of time or to repeat the same motions endlessly," said Keith Overland, president of the ACA. "The good news is that there are tips as well as stretches and exercises that can help prevent pain and injury. There are also natural approaches to treating aches and pain, such as chiropractic care, that don’t involve drugs or surgery."

In order to avoid what the ACA calls "text neck," cell phone users should make certain adjustments, such as sitting up straight with their chest out and shoulders back, and holding their phone at eye level. Habitual texters can also stretch by standing straight with their arms at their sides, then proceeding to turn their thumbs toward the wall behind them.

The website for "Get TechnoHealthy" also offers consumers tips on helpful exercises and setting up an ergonomically conducive work station.