iPain: can mobile technology impact on breathing?

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TECH PAIN: Unhealthy hunching.

I’VE spoken before about iPain – how the use of technology, and the positions we use it in, can have an effect on our health.

The neck pain caused as we hunch over smaller and smaller screens for longer and longer can cause headaches, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome and other issues.

Is your mobile stopping you breathing properly?

Recent studies have shown that smartphone users tend to report more pain in their necks, shoulders and thumbs, most likely related to the neck forward, rounded shoulder, hunch that we all tend to adopt to use them.

But can this cause dysfunctional breathing?

A recent study looked at the correlation between neck pain and breathing: 83 per cent of patients with neck pain had breathing issues. Of those patients, the worse affected were using smartphones for 4 hours a day.

Why is neck pain affecting breathing?

If your chin is forward and down your windpipe isn’t running in its ideal, straight pattern. It’s like trying to suck through a squished straw, you don’t get much drink. If your shoulders are rounded and hunched you are literally squashing your lungs, giving them less room to expand and take a full breath. If you aren’t standing properly you aren’t using your core muscles correctly so your diaphragm can’t expand to let you take a full breath or exhale completely.

What to do?

• Sit with your elbows and lower back supported (backless bar stools are not your friend!) and the screen lifted to eye height.

• Instead of tipping your head forward to get closer to the screen, keep your spine straight with your head back and bend at the waist, this gives you a nice low back stretch at the same time.

• If you do work at a desk invest the time and money to set your chair up properly.

• Take regular breaks.

For more information on how to relieve neck pain and improve your breathing please check out our blog www.TheBodyworksClinic.com/blog, our Facebook page Bodyworks Health Clinic or call us on 952 883 151.

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