Your Place Physical Therapy Posture Series: Part IV – Scalene Stretch

As Smartphone Use Increases – So Does Neck Pain

The vast majority of us use our smartphones often throughout the day. It is a source of communication, information, entertainment, organization and productivity – right in the palm of our hands. Studies show that there are some who spend upwards of 6-8 hours a day solely on their phones. The study below by emarketer.com found that the average amount of time spent each day on smartphones by American adults is 3 hours and 10 minutes.

https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-time-spent-with-mobile-2019

A common physical consequence of increased smartphone use is neck pain. All that time spent looking down at our phones places an extremely high amount of stress on the muscles and joints throughout our neck. This can lead to pain, limited mobility, swelling, headaches and muscle spasms. More serious consequences include numbness/tingling through the arms and hands, weakness and decreased function through the arms and hands as well as disc bulging/herniations in the neck. When these issues are correlated with excessive smartphone use the condition has come to be known as “Tech Neck”.

What Can You Do To Prevent Tech Neck?

Along with all of the other blog posts I have made so far in the Your Place Physical Therapy Posture Series – the stretch in the video below is an excellent method to prevent symptoms associated with poor posture and excessive smartphone use. It is a stretch for the scalene muscles which originate on our cervical (neck) vertebrae and run down to attach to our top two ribs. They can easily tighten up with repetitive and/or excessive time spent looking down (phones, computers, TVs – even driving in some instances). When they become tight this creates tension imbalance throughout the neck, limited cervical joint mobility and increased likelihood of nerve impingement as the nerves that run from our neck into our arms (the Brachial Plexus) pass through the scalenes. This nerve impingement causes that numbness/tingling, pain and weakness that can radiate into our arms and hands.

How Do I Stretch My Scalene Muscles?

Your Place PT Posture Series Part IV – The Scalene Stretch

If You Need Help Or Have Questions – Reach Out To Dr. Allen For Free Today!

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding neck pain, shoulder pain, posture or anything else that I may be able to help you out with – feel free to reach out via call/text at (904) 537 – 0301 or E-Mail at frankallen@yourplacept.com. I will be happy to help you today!