Chiropractic care is one of the safest, most effective ways to treat a malady that is striking people of every age today: Smartphone Syndrome.
If you’ve never heard of this diagnosis, that’s because it isn’t technically a medical term – but it is real and becoming more common every day, thanks to our growing dependence on electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets.
The symptoms of smartphone syndrome range from neck and upper back pain to problems with the hands, wrists, elbows and even the shoulders. Seeking chiropractic care for these painful symptoms can provide pain relief but, more important, a chiropractor can help you make lifestyle changes to help prevent recurrence.
Understanding Smartphone Syndrome
Smartphone syndrome – sometimes called mobile phone overuse – was once thought to be a problem limited to the Millennial generation (individuals born between 1982 and 2000). Today, however, 95% of Americans own a mobile device of some kind. And, while literally 100% of Americans age 18 to 29 own a mobile phone, 85% of those over age 65 own one as well.
So, as you can see, these physical ailments are not limited to any age group or demographic.
Neck Flexion – One of the most common components of smartphone syndrome is known as “text neck.” This painful malady results from keeping the neck inclined forward while looking at your phone. Keeping your head in this position for long periods of time irritates the nerves of the cervical spine, causing headaches, muscle spasms and pain in or near the shoulder blades. The problem is typically worse on the side in which you hold your device. Left untreated, you may start to experience pain, numbness or tingling that reaches down the arm and into the fingertips.
Hand Pain – The other predominant symptom that results from mobile phone overuse involves the hands, wrists and arms – again, primarily in the hand you use to hold your device. Depending on which data you believe, Americans are using their devices somewhere in the range of five to seven hours a day, on average. Doing anything with your hands for that much time every day is going to take its toll. This problem is similar to those seen in painters and artisans. Texting thumb (stenosing tenosynovitis), cubital tunnel syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome are common complaints related to mobile overuse.
How Chiropractic Treatment Can Help Neck & Hand Pain
If you’re experiencing smartphone syndrome symptoms such as numbness, pain, cramping, etc., visiting a chiropractor is a safe and natural way to ease the pain.
The type of treatment your chiropractor recommends will depend on the type of problems you’re having, as well as your medical history. After talking to you about the problems you’re experiencing, you’ll receive a comprehensive clinical examination. Typically, the chiropractor will assess your range of motion, strength, reflexes, muscle tone, etc. You may also have x-rays.
Once the assessment is complete, you may receive manual chiropractic adjustments, instrument-assisted chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, spinal decompression, etc.
For most patients, device-related problems decrease and even disappear after a few treatments – as long as you take steps to prevent recurrence.
Preventing Hand, Arm, Neck & Back Problems Due to Smartphone Syndrome
Although your chiropractor can give you exercises to do at home and recommend postural changes to help you avoid a flare-up of your specific symptoms, you might want to try these simple tips.
- Frequently switch the hand you use to hold your device
- Limit device sessions to 10 or 15 minutes at a time
- Take stretching breaks frequently
- Use a stand or lay your device on a surface
- Place your device closer to eye level
- Try getting a larger phone or switching to a tablet
- Use voice-to-text whenever possible
The bottom line is that, if you can use your electronic devices less often, you won’t experience as many physical problems related to poor posture, repetitive stress and overuse.
When you visit Foundation Chiropractic, you will receive exceptional, personalized care from our chiropractors, Dr. Jeff Brown and Dr. Scott Harris. We understand the importance of resolving your symptoms but we are also committed to providing you with long-term solutions to whatever problems are causing you pain. To learn more about how chiropractic care can help relieve your smartphone-related neck, back, hand and arm pain, contact our Orem, Utah office today.