Suffering from neck pain? There’s an app for that. There’s so much worry in the chiropractic community about postural problems and resulting pain people experience because of time spent hunched over their phones that one doctor created an app to help people be more aware of their posture as they text and scroll through feeds, a Dayton Fox News affiliate reported Feb. 3. It’s called “Text Neck,” and it’s free on the Android Market.
The app works by teaching its users (through the use of red and green lights) when their phone is held at an angle likely to cause neck and back problems. Of course, chiropractors still offer treatment for neck pain, along with treatment for low back pain and treatment for shoulder pain, but it’s best to avoid problems altogether by building stronger postural habits. Here are some easy — if not so high-tech — ways to do so, if apps aren’t your style:
- Try Guided Imagery
Sometimes, the trickiest part of good posture is figuring out what exactly constitutes good posture. If anatomical diagrams aren’t helping you to sense what proper placement feels like, try some imagery exercises. By imagining something like water coming up out of the ground and shooting out the top of your head like a fountain, you can get better posture without worrying about the details of each joint position.
- Make Use of Wait Time
Better posture requires stronger muscles. And what better time to do exercises than when you’d normally be doing something likely to cause back and neck pain down the road? Instead of pulling out your smartphone when you’re microwaving your lunch or waiting for a webpage to load, learn a few simple exercises you can do standing and without equipment.
- Stretch Consistently
Tight muscles can cause placement problems just as much as weak ones. Tight hamstrings, for example — often caused by too much sitting — can lead to lower back problems. Take time to stretch at least once in the morning and once at night.
- Use the Right Tools
The right products can make a difference in your posture, too. Wear supportive shoes, buy a good chair if you must sit for long periods of time, and use a pillow that supports your neck as you sleep.
- Get Professional Help
Chiropractic care or services offered by doctors and physical therapists aren’t there only to fix you when you’re already hurt. A healthcare practitioner can help you develop exercises and specific strategies for improving your posture and heading off back problems before they have a serious impact on your quality of life.
Can you think of other ways to improve posture? Discuss these and your own recommendations in the comments.