At Dakota Chiropractic of Apple Valley, MN, Dr. Hannah Steinmetz wants to help you live a pain free life. The mission of Dakota Chiropractic in Apple Valley, MN is to help you get and stay healthier and pain free. Our chiropractic care begins with a health assessment, asking and listening to you about your health goals, and then developing a treatment plan focused on effective pain relief and healing.
One area for concern for many chiropractic patients is neck pain associated with working at computers all. Because our bodies were not built to be sitting for eight plus hours a day, those of us who have to work at a desk or work at a computer all day can get a lot of symptoms that start either in the low back or oftentimes in the neck. A new term called ‘text neck’ has been coined to describe the neck pain symptoms that we in chiropractic care have started to see more often. This happens when a person is looking at a computer or holding a phone. Our heads start to slowly drift forward towards whatever we’re working on, whether it’s the computer or at our desk. The natural C-shaped curve in our neck (called a cervical lordosis) starts to straighten up rather than be the natural C-shaped curve that’s made out of our vertebrae.
When the neck is straight up and down instead of the nice curve is that each individual cushion or disc in between each bone in our neck gets more pressure put on it just through gravity. Some of those discs will start to push out the sides a little bit because they’re getting so much pressure put on them rather than of being nicely tucked in between the bones in our neck. This is what causes pressure to be put on the nerves that exit out those spinal levels and that can cause nerve pain. You can get some muscle pain from that as well as discomfort and headaches.
Chiropractic care can help with text neck when we can make sure that each individual joint in the neck is moving. We want those two joints next to each other moving well on top of one another, because when those two joints are moving well there won’t be any inflammation caused by that joint motion and so the nerves around that joint won’t get irritated.
You can help yourself at home before or after getting chiropractic care by doing an exercise called the Bruegger’s exercise. This is done by pulling the head back over the shoulders and bringing the shoulders back and down. Be sure to sign up with your email address to get a copy sent to your inbox on how to do this.
Other things that you should be concerned with when you start to experience neck pain is the annoying immediate discomfort as nobody wants to have neck pain. However, be aware that there are more long term effects and your body is giving you that pain to tell you to change something. If you don’t change it and the neck pain continues to get worse those joints will start to degenerate. That happens to different people at different speeds, but those of us in chiropractic care see this a lot. The extra pressure day after day on those joints causes them to form arthritis and break down and that’s why people tend to get shorter as they age is because it’s coming from the spine. Those bones are getting closer and closer together and you’re losing height in between those vertebrae.
Some steps that one can take at home to avoid the neck pain from text neck is to get up and move as much as you can if you’re at your desk job (even for one minute periodically once every 45 minutes), get adjusted regularly by your chiropractor, practice the Bruegger’s exercise while you’re at your desk, stay hydrated, and when you do have those symptoms and you want to treat those symptoms in a more natural way, there are lots of really good essential oils that help treat like the muscle soreness and the muscle tightness without taking something like an NSAID that will upset your gut.