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Text Neck: A Modern Health Concern

Text Neck: A Modern Health Concern

If you’re like us, you probably use your phone a lot.

Also, if you’re like us, you probably aren’t always aware of the posture you assume while using it (or any other tablet, laptop, or digital device).

Hint: chances are, it looks something like this:

  • Head and neck flexed down and forward
  • Upper back rounded
  • Shoulders hunched and internally rotated
  • Elbows bent and tucked in to the sides

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this posture per se, it can cause significant problems when you assume this position for prolonged periods of time, day in and day out.

What is Text Neck? Causes and Top Signs & Symptoms

Text neck is a clinical syndrome caused by excessive smartphone or digital device use, during which time a person is hunched over in the classic “texting” position described above. After hours and hours in that forwardly flexed position, the connective tissues in the head, neck, shoulders, and back can become strained, tense, and irritated.

Of course, reading and other activities can also resemble this position, but people tend to use their phones a lot more and a lot longer, thus contributing to this so-called “modern problem.”

Symptoms of text neck include:

  • Stiff, sore, and tender neck
  • Pain in the neck, which may be described as achy, dull, or even sharp
  • Pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility in the shoulders
  • Muscle spasms and knots in the back
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain and dysfunction (e.g., clicking or misalignment)

If a nerve in the neck or shoulder area is impinged by repeated exposure to this closed in, flexed forward posture, additional neurological symptoms can develop including numbness, tingling, or even eventually weakness in the arms, hands, or fingers.

Beyond causing real-time problems now, text neck can even increase your risk of chronic health issues including osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and spinal misalignments.

How to Prevent Text Neck (And How Our Ramsey Pain Management Team Can Help)

Ramsey pain doctors Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy spend a lot of time educating their patients on ways to improve their body mechanics in order to minimize symptoms of dysfunction, and in recent years discussions about cell phone habits has been an essential part of these conversations.

Here are a few key things to try more often when using your cell phone:

  • Hold your phone at eye level
  • Keep your chin level (not pointed up or down)
  • Relax your shoulders
  • Take frequent breaks

In addition to minding your posture better, you can also alleviate your text neck symptoms by consulting with Dr. Ferrer, Dr. McElroy, or another one of our orthopedic and rehabilitative team members. Our services, which include osteopathic manipulations, physical therapy, electro-acupuncture, and more, can reduce your symptoms as you learn to adopt safer technology habits.

Is Your Neck Bothering You? Our Pain Management in Ramsey Can Help You Get to the Bottom of it

Have you ever thought about how your technology habits are impacting your body? Our multidisciplinary pain management team in Ramsey can help you shed some light on your posture and smart phone use and help you figure out if and how it’s impacting your health. Give Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine a call today at (201) 962-9199, or feel free to contact us via email.

Pain Management Doctors Ramsey

Diagnosis and Treatment of Whiplash at Our Ramsey Pain Management Clinic

One of the most common conditions that we evaluate and treat at our Ramsey pain management clinic is a syndrome known as whiplash. In fact, it’s been estimated that as many as 2 million people or more experience this condition every year in the United States alone. Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy, along with the rest of their team at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, understand that finding fast and effective relief from your pain is important to you. That’s why we’ve dedicated our practice to providing our patients with a variety of comprehensive and multi-modal pain management strategies to help you recover from a whiplash injury as soon as possible.

Causes & Symptoms of Whiplash

When your body suddenly stops moving–such as during a car accident–your head tends to snap forward and backward. This rapid flexion and extension of your neck can lead to significant strain and damage to the structures within and around your cervical spine, including muscles, ligaments, nerves, and the discs between your spinal bones. When such damage occurs, a person can be said to have whiplash syndrome.

Whiplash syndrome can present with a variety of issues. The chief signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness in the neck and shoulders
  • Neck stiffness
  • Muscle spasms and/or tightness in the neck, shoulders, and upper back
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms, hands, and/or fingers
  • Headaches
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Difficulty sleeping

While whiplash is usually associated with car accidents, there are actual several other ways that a person can sustain such an injury, including slips, trips, falls, and work- or sports-related accidents. You may be more at risk for developing whiplash if you’re older, since your neck may be less flexible and less strong therefore not able to withstand such a force. People with a history of neck and back problems, including arthritis, may also be more at risk for developing whiplash.

How Our Ramsey Doctors Help People Recover From Their Whiplash Symptoms

It’s important to realize that even minor fender benders involving speeds as slow as 10 miles per hour can lead to a whiplash injury. Equally important is the fact that signs and symptoms of a whiplash injury often don’t present until days, weeks, and sometimes months following the traumatic event. This is because it can take some time for pain-masking stress hormones released during trauma (like cortisol) to return to their normal resting levels.

For this reason, our Ramsey pain management team always advises you or your loved ones to seek professional help following a car accident or similar event, even if you feel “fine.” Without a thorough examination and diagnostic imaging, you’ll never know for sure if you have an underlying injury brewing, which, if left untreated, could easily progress from a minor to a major problem.

Here are a few of the pain management services we provide to our patients with whiplash syndrome:

When managing whiplash, our overall goal is to control inflammation, prevent further tissue damage, provide pain relief, restore normal motion, and prevent recurring or chronic symptoms from developing. These treatment objectives are provided via a fully individualized plan of care that can meet the unique needs of each patient.

Is Your Whiplash Proving to be a Big Pain in the Neck? Visit Our Ramsey Pain Management Doctors for Help

Do you believe that your dysfunction is related to whiplash? If so, we encourage you to call Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine to schedule an appointment with one of our pain management doctors, Dr. Ferrer or Dr. McElroy. Our entire team is dedicated to helping you Call us now at (201) 962-9199.

Physical Therapy Exercises

Everything You Need to Know About Neck Pain

Everything You Need to Know About Neck Pain

 

Do you have neck pain? You are not alone. Neck pain is the third most common type of pain in the United States, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine. If you are like most people, you want to ease your neck pain without painful, complicated, or often risky surgery. Fortunately, nonsurgical orthopedic care can relieve your pain.

Causes and Symptoms of Neck Pain

Many things can cause neck pain, from muscle strain to arthritis. Because your neck is flexible and supports the weight of your head, the joints of your neck are especially vulnerable to injuries and conditions that cause pain and restrict movement. Spending too many hours hunched over a smartphone or computer screen can strain neck muscles. Even minor activities, such as reading in bed, can strain these muscles.

As with your knee joints or other joints in your body, the joints that allow you to move your neck can wear down with age and use. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage protecting the bones of your neck breaks down, and this allows the development of bone spurs that cause pain and affect joint movement.

Rubbery discs cushioning the bones of your neck can break down with age; herniated discs can press against nerves to cause pain in your neck. Bone spurs can also press against these nerves to cause pain.

Injuries sustained from a rear-end car collision is a common cause of a particular type of neck pain known as whiplash. This type of collision jerks the head backward then forward in a way that strains soft tissues in your neck.

Symptoms of neck pain depend largely on their cause. General symptoms of neck pain include:

  • Stiffness, soreness and difficulty moving your neck, particularly from side to side
  • Muscle spasms and tightness
  • Pain that gets worse when you hold your head still, such as when you drive a car or work at your computer
  • Sharp pain that may feel like stabbing or stinging, localized on one spot and often on the lower part of the neck
  • General neck soreness that causes achy tenderness
  • Radiating pain, from your neck into your shoulders and arms
  • Trouble gripping or lifting objects, if weakness is present
  • Headaches resulting from irritation or pinched nerve in your neck

Neck pain is usually the result of a minor problem but it can be a symptom of a more serious problem. Seek immediate medical care if your neck pain is the result of a car accident or other severe trauma, or if the pain lasts for several days, or causes tingling, numbness or weakness that radiates down one shoulder, arm or finger.

Treatment Options for Neck Pain

Non-surgical treatments include physical therapy, massage, and the use of various injections. Treatment depends largely on the cause, symptoms and severity of your neck pain. You may benefit from a single treatment type or a personalized treatment plan that includes several treatments.

Physical therapy for neck pain may consist of therapeutic exercise to increase strength and mobility, manual therapy, and various modalities, such as ice, heat, stimulation, ultrasound, kinesiotaping and the use of other instruments.

Massage therapy promotes healing by melting muscle spasms, mobilizing soft tissue, stimulating blood flow, and facilitating lymph drainage. Massage therapy also imparts a calming, positive effect on your brain to improve sleep, optimize your mood and relieve stress.

Steroid injections deliver powerful anti-inflammatory medication directly into the affected area of your neck to reduce pain and inflammation. These injections alleviate your pain, which allows you to participate in therapeutic exercise.

Comprehensive, nonsurgical orthopedic care provides the best possible outcome without surgery. If you have neck pain, make an appointment with Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine. We serve patients living in and around Ramsey, NJ including Bergen County, New York City and beyond.

Neck Pain Specialists rasmsey NJ

Neck Pain Symptoms, Treatments and Solutions

Neck Pain Symptoms, Treatments and Solutions

 

There’s a reason why “pain in the neck” has become an idiom – the saying hints to just how frustrating a painful neck condition can be! At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, home to Bergen County, NJ’s premier non-invasive pain management clinic, we work with hundreds of people just like you who struggle with neck pain, and help them achieve better outcomes that last.

Common Causes of Neck Pain

Every neck is different. That’s why our staff takes the time and attention needed to investigate and identify the underlying cause of your neck pain and other symptoms, which will help us determine the best course of treatment for you.

Common neck pain causes include:

  • Whiplash syndrome (strain and tension on connective tissue in the neck region due to a forceful start/stop injury)
  • Joint subluxation (misalignment of one or several of the vertebral bones)
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal that typically occurs with age)
  • Osteoarthritis (inflammation of the cervical joints)
  • Disc bulge (when the gel-filled disc between your vertebral bones sticks out of place)
  • Disc herniation (when the gel-filling inside the disc leaks out into the surrounding area)
  • Spinal nerve impingement (pressure and pinching on a spinal nerve as it exits the spinal column)
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome (pressure on the neurovascular tissue at the front of your shoulder as they pass between your clavicle and first rib)
  • Muscle strain or ligament sprain (may result from an acute or chronic issue)

Contributing factors to these issues may include anything from auto or sports-related injuries to “text neck,” otherwise known as the poor posture we sustain while utilizing handheld digital devices.

Neck Pain & Associated Symptoms

If you have neck pain, you probably notice other issues, too. This is due to the intricate connection between the connective tissues of your head, neck, shoulders, and upper back – a problem in one area often leads to a problem in another area.

For instance, our patients commonly report neck stiffness, headaches, shoulder pain, increased muscle tension, numbness and/or weakness in one or both arms (especially if a cervical nerve is involved), stiffness, and decreased tolerance to exercise, desk work, and sleep.

How our Ramsey Spine & Sports Medicine Team Treats Neck Pain

When you book an appointment with us for neck pain, our board certified medical team will select from a variety of our diagnostic and treatment options to help you find the best solution to your signs and symptoms of dysfunction. Every treatment plan we offer is completely customizable to fit your specific needs. We’ll “give a nod” to your lifestyle, age, and health history when developing a plan of care for you, which may include:

Struggling with Neck Pain? Our Multidisciplinary Team in Ramsey Can Help

We take “progressive” seriously at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. That’s why we’re 100% committed to providing our patients with state-of-the-art, evidence-based pain management strategies that hinge on comprehensive and non-invasive services. If your neck pain has been holding you back in life and you’re looking for non-surgical and “whole person” approach to healing, then call our Ramsey spine and sports medicine team today at (201) 962-9199.