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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.

neck pain specialist ramsey nj

Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment Options | Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia affects about 10 million Americans. Though it’s not fully understood by the medical community, several theories exist as to what causes it. A leading idea is an abnormal activation of the central nervous system, and the way in which it regulates pain. In this particular theory, people with fibromyalgia have heightened sensitivity and experience of pain, as if the volume’s been turned up on the pain signals.

Women are affected by fibromyalgia far more often than men (in an estimated ratio of about 4 to 1), however people of all ages, including children, can be affected by it. At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, New Jersey, our pain management doctors have helped hundreds of people manage their condition more effectively.

Fibromyalgia Signs & Symptoms

People with fibromyalgia can experience a wide variety of signs and symptoms, the chief ones being widespread pain, muscle and joint tenderness, and fatigue. Specific intensity, duration, type and frequency of symptoms vary from person to person, and can wax and wane over time. Some of the most common conditions include:

  • Sleep problems
  • Memory difficulties
  • Joint stiffness
  • Sensitive skin
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Migraines and tension headaches
  • Urinary problems
  • TMJ dysfunction
  • Pelvic pain

Fibromyalgia has also been related to the presence of other conditions including gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), chronic dry eye syndrome, asthma, thyroid issues, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Stress, consumption of sugar, and other environmental factors may exacerbate symptoms.

Diagnosis typically requires certain lab work and tests to rule out the presence of other diseases.

Treatment Options with Our Ramsey Pain Management Team

At this point in time, there is no cure for fibromyalgia. However, Dr. Ferrer, Dr. McElroy, and the rest of our multidisciplinary team are happy to work with anyone suffering from this condition. We utilize a variety of evidence-based, drug-free, non-surgical treatment methods that provide effective pain relief, decreased tenderness, improved joint range of motion, and more, including:

  • Acupuncture and electroacupuncture
  • Interventional pain injections
  • Percutaneous electroneuro stimulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Osteopathic manipulations

Beyond minimizing or relieving your pain and other symptoms, our compassionate team can also help you find mental and emotional relief, as well. The stress and fatigue of fibromyalgia can truly take its toll on you, and we consider it our job to educate you on ways to take care of your mental as well as physical health. We can provide guidance on exercise, sleep, and nutritional habits that can help you live as fully as possible in light of your diagnosis.

Living with Fibromyalgia in Ramsey, New Jersey? Let Our Pain Management Team Help You

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with fibromyalgia? Learn more about the condition and get innovative and custom care with our team here at Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine. Call (201) 962-9199 now to schedule an appointment in Ramsey today. Dr. Steven Ferrer and Dr. Kevin McElroy would be honored to meet you and help you find relief.

Pain Management Doctors Ramsey

Usage & Benefits of TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)

Usage & Benefits of TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation )

Do you have acute or chronic pain in a joint or muscle? If so, you may benefit from a drug-free and non-invasive pain relieving technique called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, otherwise known as TENS.

How TENS Works

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can help relieve symptoms of pain from a variety of conditions including back pain, joint pain, and post-operative pain.

Here’s how it works:

Small self-adhesive electrodes are attached over the painful area. These electrodes are connected via wires to the small portable TENS device. The device can be turned on and adjusted via a dial until a comfortable amount of electricity is being transmitted (we tell our patients that it should feel like a relatively comfortable tingling feeling, and not painful). This electricity will stimulate the sensory nerves in the affected area and effectively block pain signals that these nerve fibers have been sending to the brain. TENS has also been shown to stimulate the release of certain hormones that act as a natural analgesic.

At our facility, we have 4-lead TENS units. This allows us to use TENS on larger treatment areas for our patients who are looking for a safe and non-invasive pain relief method, one that comes with a very low risk of side effects and a high amount of scientifically-backed success.

Is TENS Right for Me?

TENS is safe for use on children, adults, and seniors. However, TENS should either not be used or used with caution in the following conditions:

  • People with pacemakers
  • People who are pregnant (over the trunk, abdomen, or pelvis)
  • People with allergic reactions to the electrodes and/or gel/tape used during treatment

Likewise, electrodes should not be placed over the anterior part of the neck (near the carotid sinus), nor should they be placed over areas with active skin issues including dermatitis, eczema, and cancerous lesions.

If you are not clear about TENS or have questions or concerns, our staff will take the time to carefully go over this service with you.

In addition to TENS, our staff also offers a similar treatment known as PENS, or percutaneous electroneurostimulation. This is similar to our 4-lead TENS, however instead of electrodes placed topically on the skin, small needles are actually inserted in or around the target area. Because the stimulation of the nerves occurs in a more direct way, PENS is often more effective for pain-relief, especially for people who don’t seem to respond as well to TENS.

No matter which pain management solution you need, our team will help you find the best fit for you.

Wondering if TENS can Help You Find Pain Relief? Ask Our Ramsey Pain Doctors

At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine, our team is proud to be among Northern New Jersey’s leaders in non-surgical and orthopedic pain management strategies. If you’d like to learn more about the treatments we offer, including TENS and PENS, then call our clinic today to schedule an appointment with one of our Ramsey pain doctors or physical therapists. To make your appointment, call (201) 962-9199 now.