According to data gathered by Flurry Analytics, the average US consumer is spending five hours per day on their mobile devices. That’s five hours per day hunched over a screen, increasing the load that your neck must support. This strain, over time, can lead to significant pain in your neck and a long list of possible medical complications. With good posture, the human neck is designed to support the weight of your head which, on average, weighs between 10 and 12 pounds. Studies show that looking at our phones can shift the head forward and down, in turn increasing the amount of weight that the neck must support up to 60 pounds or more. It is critical to realize the potential impact that this habitual increase of pressure on our necks can have so we can make change for the better.
Here are some tips to reduce and prevent the pain caused by increased time spent looking at mobile devices.
We are so used to looking down at our devices. Start training yourself to hold your device at eye level to reduce the potential health complications of using mobile devices.
Posture correcting stretches will prove tremendously effective at reducing the pain caused by misalignment. Here is a link to a video that shows an example of one such stretch.
Take a break.
Other behaviors such as reading don’t seem to have as much of an effect on the spine. Why? The answer is simple; when reading, it is common to look and move around frequently. Taking breaks and being mindful of how long you have been looking down will help reduce the chances of long-term problems.
Like stretching, it is important to do exercises that will help improve posture. Especially important are exercises that improve core and shoulder strength. This article provides examples of posture-improving exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.
These tips should help you develop strategies to limit the pain and long-term complications caused by mobile device usage. In addition to these tips, visit us at Pure Life Chiropractic, located in downtown Eugene! We can help by crafting personal care plans to improve posture and return your body to its natural alignment. Call to schedule your appointment today: 541-343-5633.
Let’s face it, we have all been there, the alarm clock is buzzing, and as you reach to turn it off, you suddenly feel as stiff as the Tin Man before he gets oiled. As you sluggishly move about preparing for the day ahead, you wish that you could find some relief. You may also start to wonder why this happens and what you can do to prevent it. Luckily, there are some known causes of this morning struggle. Armed with an understanding of why morning stiffness occurs, you can develop a preventative game plan.
According to research done by scientists in the UK, a protein called cryptochrome reduces inflammation and is released according to our bodies circadian rhythm. When we sleep the protein is not released, thereby increasing inflammation which may lead to stiffness and pain. In addition, lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and stress may all contribute to this morning obstacle. Follow these five tips to help to get moving quicker in the morning.
Get quality sleep.
Try to ensure that you are getting the best possible sleep you can get. Sleep is how our bodies recover from the stresses of the day before. Make sure to maintain a regular sleep schedule and create a bedtime routine that is free of electronic screens. Make sure the place you sleep is peaceful, free of clutter, and comfortable.
Develop healthy eating habits.
Eating the wrong foods before bed can be a nightmare. Foods that are spicy or heavily acidic often keep you up with heartburn. Also, keeping a healthy diet helps to maintain a healthy weight and can help reduce the risk of developing complications like sleep apnea. Make sure to drink enough water to reduce the effects of dehydration which can make recovery during sleep even harder.
Like a healthy diet, exercise is important to maintain overall health and to prevent health complications that may interfere with a good night’s sleep. If you don’t have a workout plan already, try starting out by walking 20-30 minutes per day and gradually intensifying your workout.
It is hard to get good sleep if you are tossing and turning, thinking about all the stresses of life. Try mindfulness practices such as meditation to help reduce the effects that the day’s events have on your mind while you try to sleep. You might even find that getting better sleep will help in dealing with stress in the first place.
Stretch before getting out of bed.
One of the first things you should do before getting out of bed is simple stretching. Stretching loosens everything up and promotes circulation which can help reduce pain caused by inflammation.
Following these five tips should help in the fight against morning stiffness. If it seems like you just cannot win the battle, see our team at Pure Life Chiropractic! We will help to develop a personalized plan to get you moving.
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