Computers Overusage Damaging Your Spinal

Text Neck
Remember Apple’s ‘goose-neck’ desktop computer? If not, just conjure an image of an elongated goose, its neck extending out, down, and away from its body. A goose’s physiology can support this posture (we assume)—but humans are not so lucky.

Now think about how, when busy on an iPhone or tablet, you hold your device down, out, and away from you—you most likely tilt your head downward so your eyes can meet the screen. This may seem innocuous, but the long-term effects of this position have a medical diagnosis: sometimes called ‘text neck’ or ‘computer neck’, its official name is Forward Head Posture (FHP).

Chronic Neck & Shoulder Pain
FHP results from the spinal system—vertebrae, nerves, circulation—adjusting itself against the force of gravity, to the detriment of your long-term posture and health. In studies contrasting the effects of FHP and Neutral Head Posture (NHP), FHP was found to have a significant impact on the musculature of the neck and shoulders, resulting in long-term pain—the kind of pain often reported in the 9-to-5 workplace.

Decreased Productivity
In a study which tested workplace productivity against mentally strenuous activity, the latter was often found to induce FHP, which further decreased productivity over time due to pain and discomfort. This means that FHP is a physiological position which the body assumes often due to external factors—like strenuous use, or interaction with a computer, tablet, or other form of information technology. Only by proactively working to correct the habits which maintain FHP can we prevent its long-term damaging effects.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
As we’ve mentioned, the spine and the nervous systemare a closed circuit which constantly adjusts to its surroundings. But health issues external to the spinal system may still be symptomatic of acute FHP. For example, a 2009 study suggests that there may be a correlation between FHP and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Lower-back Pain & Injury
FHP puts tremendous strain on the whole body—including the Psoas major and minor muscles, which attach to the femur and extend upwards through the pelvis. Long-term reliance on FHP can send these muscles into frequent spasm, causing chronic lower-back pain and stress injury, and costing you comfort, mobility, and time.

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