“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”
—Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Most of us who studied English literature in high school remembered that famous opening line from Dicken’s novel set during uncertain times before the start of the French Revolution. At the time, social and economic changes were sweeping across European borders and in some way we are going through a technological “revolution” of our own right here. Everywhere you go, we are connected through our cellular devices, tablets, computers at home, the airport or even in our own vehicles! It’s no wonder that more and more people are reporting a high incidence of neck, shoulder, and arm pain when using their devices 24/7!
Would you believe there actually is a medical term given to this condition? It’s called… “text neck” and is literally and figuratively a Pain in the Neck as referenced in my prior blog back in June of this year. I see more people in my office complaining of neck and shoulder pain, numbness and tingling in the arms, headaches, lethargy, fatigue and low energy, difficulty concentrating with tasks, etc. So what do we do to resolve it? Easy, power off… however, more easily said than done! I admit that texting is a great way of communicating, if you want a quick response, but more and more of us are replacing old fashioned “one on one” communication with “talking” on the “text” and not directly with one another.
Solutions for Text Neck
Here are a few short term solutions to help ease the burden on our bodies:
- Make sure our workplace is ergonomically safe and efficient. Ensure that you are looking directly at your screen and monitor instead of having your head towards one side. Try holding your cellular tablet or device in front of you instead of looking straight down.
- Take frequent stretch breaks and engage more than just the “water cooler”. Walking during breaks help to physically move your body, work your muscles and joints as well as stimulate your circulation and metabolism too!
- See a qualified Health Care Practitioner if your physical symptoms and pain do not resolve or become worse after a week. Many effective resources are available which I utilize to treat this common repetitive strain condition such as Acupuncture, Massage and Chiropractic Care. Check out my previous blogs on these topics!
I believe this is the “Revolution” that’s happening in our society at large. Technology is great when it comes to efficiency and easy accessibility to be in constant ‘commune’ with each other, yet something is sacrificed here and is evident in our workplace environment. More tasks need attention, more workload, in some cases, and more stress, pain and physical debilitation as a result.
We’re not designed to be plugged into our devices constantly whether at work or at home. Instead of being on social media, why not call a friend whom you haven’t seen in a while or better yet arrange to get together for coffee or a social outing? Take a walk in the woods and be in Nature surrounded by glorious creation and get back to the basics… Instead of “Facetime” do “Family-time” ala ‘old school’. Something to think about… Trust me, your body will thank me for it later!