What the Heck is Tech Neck?

In January 2007 a revolutionary new product was introduced to the market that changed how people interacted in all forms of daily activities.  Today the smartphone is in everybody’s hands all day and people are looking down at their phone 3 to 6 hours a day.  As a result, a new condition has been coined Tech Neck for those people who have been complaining about neck pain, upper back pain, and numbness in their arms and hands.

Tech Neck is caused by continuously putting the head and neck in the unusual position of looking down for extended periods of time.

Let’s look at the anatomy of the neck and how looking down all the time leads to bio-mechanical and degenerative changes to the spine and associated problems like neck pain, upper back pain, shoulder pain, and radiculopathy in the arms and hands.

Looking at a person from the side, the ear should be over the shoulder and the neck should have a 63-degree forward curve.  The curve of the neck is very important because it distributes the weight of the head throughout the curve of the spine providing a springing effect. The head weighs 13 to 18 pounds depending on the size of the person.  The head sits on top of the neck which acts like a long lever arm creating compressive forces on the disc and vertebral bone when looking down.  When looking down the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the neck have to work harder to support the weight of the head.  The compressive forces of the head on the disc and vertebra accelerate degeneration of the disc and vertebra leading to very early arthritis and other conditions not normally seen in younger people.  It does not take long for a person to begin to develop a tech neck.  Pro long periods of daily looking down at your cell phone or some other handheld device will quickly lead to tech neck or the reversing of the cervical curve.

Allopathic physicians are seeing an explosion of young people coming into their offices with complaints of neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, and numbness in the arms and hands.  These patients are prescribed rounds of anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxers, and headache medications that help to relieve the symptoms but do not correct the cause of the problem.

It does not matter how much medication you take or how much you stretch or try to strengthen the muscles of your neck and upper back, the problem will not go away until the curve of the neck is restored.  I have helped many young and old with this condition.  If you want to get relief and restore the natural curve of your neck you can click on this link or call my office today and schedule an appointment.

If you have been faced with Tech Neck issues and are looking for some resolution, please contact us by calling our office at 401-433-3600 or schedule a new patient exam appointment online.

The Effects of Alcohol On Your Spine

Have you considered the effects of Alcohol on your Spine

About ten years ago drinking red wine was considered a good healthy benefit because of a compound discovered in it called resveratrol. Resveratrol has been found to have many cardiovascular benefits as well as longevity effects. However, years later the authors of the study stated that resveratrol is very beneficial for your health but alcohol was not and resveratrol should be taken in supplement form and not from drinking wine. In other words, drinking a glass of red wine once a day was more detrimental to your health than getting the resveratrol from a glass of wine.

It is well known that daily consumption of alcohol in large or small quantities is detrimental to the health of your liver, blood vessels and kidneys but very few are aware of its devastating effects on your bones and joints. Alcohol is very acidic and the body(blood) has a certain pH level that it must maintain or you could go into a state of hyper-acidosis leading to organ damage (kidneys) and other nefarious conditions.

The body is smart so to prevent damage to the organs it will take calcium from the bone and blood to neutralize the acid and restore normal pH levels. What researches have also found is alcohol in the blood stream kills a very important cell in the bone called an osteoblast that are responsible for making new bone. Bone is not static. Your body is always removing old bone (osteoclast cells) and making new bone (osteoblast cells). When this process is interrupted the bone begins to become brittle (osteopenia) and become deformed and loses their strength. Deformities around the joint lead to arthritis and degenerative disc, degenerative joint disease. If you are experiencing stiffness or tightness or soreness first thing in the morning getting out of bed it is a sure sign of arthritis.

I experienced my first case of a daily wine drinker coming to me for back pain during my first year into practice.   He was an active gentleman in his early sixties who appeared to be very healthy.  His x-rays revealed a spine of an 80-year-old man.  I was shocked at what I saw.  I received 2 years of radiology studies and pathology studies while in chiropractic college and was never told of alcohol consumption causing this type of condition.  I asked him about his food consumption and he told me he would have a glass of wine or two each night for dinner. I began to ask my patients about diet and began to see a direct correlation with their bone health and flexibility.

Today the orthopedic industry is seeing a significant increase in joint replacement surgeries. Arthritis is not a disease of old age it is a nutritional deficiency induced disease that can be halted and improved with a healthy diet and the use of properly recommended supplements. Chiropractic is very helpful in restoring mobility and proper function to arthritic joints. If you are feeling the effects of arthritis and need help getting your health back click on this link or call my office.

If you have been faced with Spine issues and are looking for some resolution, please contact us by calling our office at 401-433-3600 or schedule a new patient exam appointment online.