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Adelaide SA Chiropractor Neck Shoulder Pain

Tech Neck and Back /Shoulders

Have you ever taken a moment to look at your child’s posture as they use their phone or laptop? Seeing them slumped shoulders, rounded back and forward protruding neck, reclining in a chair or lying on their bed. Then at that moment telling them to “sit up straight.”

However, the effects of bad posture could impact kids beyond their teenage years.

Technology is everywhere and screen time has begun to play an increasing role in children’s lives — smartphones, tablets, laptops, video games, and now remote learning. Kids, especially teens, are using these devices more than ever. In fact, a recent survey found that 80% of 16 year old’s reported they’re online more than 2 hours per day.

It’s no surprise that neck pain from tech usage is a common complaint, as a forward positioned head puts additional strain on muscles and ligaments of the neck. Neck pain is just one of a variety of medical issues related to bad posture that may have a significant negative impact on health. It’s especially important to correct bad posture in children and teens as their bodies may, over time, adapt poor posture.

Health risks of prolonged bad posture include:

  • Neck, back and joint pain, as well as headaches, are common physical ailments resulting from bad posture.
  • Increased kyphosis, muscles and bones get used to being hunched over, leading to a rounded back and shoulders.
  • Slouching reduces lung capacity and depth of respiration, because the body isn’t getting the full amount of oxygen needed to function properly they may feel fatigued.
  • Long term changes to the spine can impact motor skills and affect balance.

What to do?

Thankfully most kid’s bodies are supple, flexible and strong, meaning it may just take some time to overcome their bad postural habits and return to normal.

Call it out

Talk to your child or teen about correct posture while using tech devices. Taking a photo of them before and after, showing them the difference of how they look can be a powerful way to explain the difference.

Stand up

The use of a stand-up deck has been a revelation for many office workers, and so it can be for your kids. As your child or teen spends a lot of time on a laptop or tablet for e-learning, consider using a stand-up desk to reduce strain on their neck and back. If a stand-up desk isn’t an option, ensure the monitor, chair, and desk are set correctly to the height of your child. Eye level is a key point to reduce neck strain.

Rest break

Set a timer to remind your child to stand up every 20 to 30 minutes to stretch and exercise their neck and shoulders.

Turn off

Shut down the screens and engage in more active movement, go for a walk, run around and play.

Listen to your children

Kids tend not to complain about backpain, if your child is complaining of pain, especially in the neck, between the shoulder blades or in the arms, it may be indicative of a more significant health issue. This is something which should be taken seriously and a consultation with your health care provider should be made. Chiropractors are trained to evaluate your child’s spine and their posture. Depending on their findings your Chiropractor may include other health care professionals to help manage your child’s health care needs.