It was posted few days ago in the International Business Times that a large number of youngsters suffer from neck and back pain due to sedentary lifestyle. The research conducted by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) revealed that, more than half of the young adult populations in the UK aged between 16 and 24 years old, live with neck and back pain. The statistics today have in fact doubled since 2014, which only around 28% of the youth suffered with back pain.
This striking inclination in both the frequency and severity of musculoskeletal diseases in younger population is largely due to their current lifestyles and habits. It was researched that on an average, a person ends up spending 1.8 hours using their tablets and phones, 1.4 hours gaming and 3.7 hours using their laptop or computer. That's almost 7 hours a day, that young people spend time in fixed, ergonomically compromised postures!
iPhone, iPad and iPosture?
The use of smartphones and tablets have produced an array of new health conditions with debilitating effects, namely the iPosture.
iPosture or also known as text neck, is a term to describe the position we take when using our electronic devices, which can often lead to headaches, back pain, and aching shoulders. A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 8 to 18 year olds are spending at least 7 and a half hours each day on their entertainment media. That's a long time to be in a fixed, ergonomically compromised position.
This is a big problem especially because they are growing adults -- their bones, joints and muscles are not fully matured, and thus amplifying the pressure and strain on their joints. The more stress and strain you put in the joints and muscles now, can lead to accelerated degeneration and disease later. Orthopedic specialist Nancy Craven from UConn Health states that, it is very likely that young adults with poor posture habits (due to regular use of electronic devices) are likely to suffer chronic neck and upper back pain, headaches, and even arthritis. She furthermore pointed out that, degenerative arthritis forms because the alignment is not correct. With these kids' spinal alignment being off at such a young age, arthritis will set in earlier, which could lead to the need for medications, or surgery.
Related Reading: Is There Such Thing As A Perfect Posture?
What You Can Do At Home
Poor posture is common, but just because it's common, it doesn't mean it's normal. The only normal posture is when we assess ourselves from sideways, our ear needs to be on top of our shoulders, shoulders on our hips, hips on knees and ankles, all in a straight line. This is also known as the Plumb line. But with excessive use of electronic devices, our head starts to creep forward, resulting in postural distortions.
A great way to prevent these problems is to do basic exercises at home. Watch the video below.
This exercise is great because it's versatile, simple and most importantly, effective. But problems with corrective exercises is that they require discipline. Let alone kids or teenagers, adults themselves either forget or find it difficult to exercise regularity. Now there are actual products designed to circumvent this problem and provide better results. The product I recommend is Dr. Riter's Real Ease Neck Support. This product not only eases neck, shoulder and jaw tension but it also helps to stretch those muscles and the ligaments. You can read more about it on my products page.
How Can Chiropractic Help?
Have you ever wondered why you might be suffering from pain, when you've never really injured yourself? It's because most musculoskeletal conditions stem from sedentary lifestyles and habits of poor posture. And if the structure (spine) is causing the problems (symptoms), taking medications or going for a massage is just a waste of your time and money. The best way to seek professional care and advice for you and your family is to consult a chiropractor. Chiropractors will be able to help you correctly identify the problem, assess its severity and come up with a personalised care plan.
Chiropractic has been widely acknowledged for delivering natural, effective and long lasting effects of pain relief. A recent article from the medical journal of Spine writes:
As mentioned above by an orthopedic specialist, degenerative arthritis and accelerated degeneration of the spine and other joints occur due to misalignments in the joints and/or the spine. Chiropractors are holistic health care practitioners who re-align these misalignments (subluxations) without the need of medication or surgery, effectively correcting the underlying problem. Below is an example of a before and after x-rays showing spinal correction after corrective chiropractic care (see more results here).
More and more young adults are complaining of postural pain. A study done in the UK involving 3,000 individuals revealed that young adults are having more days off of work than their parent's generation due to low back pain. Chiropractic is safe for all ages, and produces results more than just pain relief. Seeing a chiropractor and getting adjusted should be a part of healthy lifestyle choices in all families.