Be Smart With Your Smartphone and Look Up!
As students worldwide return to school, it’s likely many will be e-learning in some capacity for hours each day on their digital devices. While our devices can be fantastic tools for entertainment and education, the postural eﬀects are something all parents should be aware of. For many students, e-learning may increase neck, mid-back, and low back pain.
Why it Matters:
Spending 6 or more hours each day looking down at your digital devices can profoundly aﬀect your mental, social, and physical health. It can also lead to the development of “Tech Neck Syndrome.” This forward head posture often places tremendous stress on the neck (cervical spine) and can lead to an uptick in headaches, back and neck pain, and more.
Did you know…
- Low back pain is the 3rd most common form of pain interfering with schoolwork.
- It’s estimated that 50.3% of school-aged children present with posture disorders.
- In fact, approximately 41.6% of children experience back pain from prolonged sitting.
Making it a habit to look up (literally!) throughout the day is a signiﬁcant ﬁrst step in reducing the eﬀects of “Tech Neck.” Try this. Pull your chin back, stretch your arms out in front of you and open them wide, and look up to the ceiling and hold for 20-30 seconds. Try and repeat this stretch every 60 minutes to help reset your posture and body position. And if your child spends every day at their computer learning, be sure to teach them this stretch and then schedule a visit with our practice. We’ll provide you with a full postural and movement-based assessment to identify any potential issues to help reduce their chance of suﬀering from “Tech Neck Syndrome.”
Why Chiropractic Care is Critical for Kids Who Play Sports
Youth sports are a big deal. It’s estimated that over 45 million kids are actively engaged in sports! While sports give kids a fantastic opportunity to grow socially and physically, they also increase risks for injuries, pain from overuse, and muscular imbalances. Finding proactive ways to reduce the risk of injury and balance the eﬀects of training are essential for your child’s developing musculoskeletal system.
Why it Matters:
Your child’s skeletal system is actively developing until they are approximately 25 years old. Their postural habits, history of injuries, and genetics play a role in their body’s ﬁnal form (and function). Sports have the potential to add a signiﬁcant amount of stress and increase the chances of injuries for your developing child. Even small injuries to their spine can create bigger challenges down the road as they get older.
- Addressing minor injuries and challenges while your child is young can help ensure proper musculoskeletal development.
- Youth sports can increase your child’s likelihood of developing overuse, growth plate injuries, and chronic pain.
- Chiropractic care is a safe and natural way to help your child stay active and perform their best.
Remember, don’t shrug it oﬀ if your child complains of back pain, headaches, or a stiﬀ neck. Pain is a signal to “Pay Attention Inside Now.” The good news? Our practitioners are experienced at evaluating active children and creating kid-friendly care plans. Together, we can help your child stay engaged with their favorite sports for years to come.
Power Your Child’s Brain with Movement
Years ago, many believed that the health beneﬁts of exercise were limited to the body. However, research has demonstrated that regular physical activity and movement can beneﬁt both the body and the brain.
Recent studies have highlighted that movement can improve the supply of oxygen to the brain and promote the production of new cells. In fact, it appears movement also aids in creating new connections in the brain!
Why it Matters:
Many schools have reduced physical education classes. Many more students have moved towards e-learning. For those reasons, it’s important to be mindful of our children’s physical activity and to
encourage them to exercise more each day. And not just to beneﬁt their physical health. In many ways, exercising each day is likely to make your child a better student! Movement triggers the release of chemical substances in the brain that enhance brain function.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the beneﬁts of movement:
- Better Brain Function – Movement may protect your brain against degenerative changes.
- Better Stress Reduction – Exercise and movement have been shown to have an antidepressant eﬀect that can help reduce overall stress.
- Better Memory – Regular exercise can help directly and indirectly improve recall and reasoning skills.
The research is clear. Daily movement and exercise are healthy for both your child’s body and their brain. And our posture and movement assessments are designed to help you identify any abnormal patterns, helping your child feel better and stay active so they can become the best student possible. So, if your child struggles to get enough exercise due to nagging aches and pains or less than ideal posture, we hope you’ll consider scheduling an appointment with us today. Our doors are open, and we’re here to help!
E-Learning: How to Avoid Tech Neck
Is your child connected to a phone, computer, or tablet during and after school? Think about it. Many of us aren’t more than an arm’s length from our phone at any time (even when we are sleeping). Spending time every day looking down at our devices can place a lot of stress on the supporting muscles of our neck and lead to an uptick in headaches. It’s a condition called “Tech Neck,” and it’s one of the most common causes of headaches and neck pain.
Why it Matters:
The countless hours per day kids often spend on phones and computers can signiﬁcantly contribute to tension headaches. In fact, it’s estimated that kids spend up to 1,400 hours per year in the exact positions that are attributed to the development of “Tech Neck.” That’s not surprising. Recent research has also shown that even 15 degrees of forward head tilt can triple the weight of the head on the spine.
Here are some key things to remember when it comes to “Tech Neck”:
- “Tech Neck” is the term used to describe the symptoms of headaches, neck pain, and poor posture attributed to the forward head posture often associated with using your phone, tablet, and computer.
- Taking a break from our mobile devices every 15 minutes can help reduce the likelihood of developing recurring neck pain and headaches.
- Chiropractic care including adjustments and postural exercises can help decrease the pain and reverse the eﬀects of “Tech Neck”.
Keep it simple. Encourage your children to take breaks and stretch often. These are some of the best (and easiest) ways to help them break the bad habits that can lead to “Tech Neck.” And if your child spends alot of time online and begins experiencing neck pain or headaches, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our providers are experienced at evaluating children and creating kid-friendly care plans. Our doors are open, and we’re ready to help you and your family ﬁnd long lasting, natural relief from “Tech Neck.”
- Text Neck Syndrome. Intl Journal of Env Research and Public Health. 2021.
- Three Steps to Build a Better Back. Harvard Health Pub. 2015.
- Back Pain in School Children. Dynamic Chiropractic. 1995.
- School Children’s Backpacks, Back Pain and Back Pathologies. Arch Dis Child. 2012.
- Backpack Safety: It’s Time to Lighten the Load. National Safety Council. 2020.
- Specialization & Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes. UCONN Health. 2017.
- Learning Upregulates Neurotrophic Factor. Behavioral Neuroscience. 2019.
- The Anti-Depressant effect of Running. Intl Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 2005.
- Regular Exercise Changes the Brain. Harvard Health Pub. 2014.
- How Exercise Affects Your Brain. Scientific American. 2018.
- Assessment of Stresses in the Cervical Spine caused by Posture. Surg Tech Intnl. 2014.