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Is your Smartphone giving you the Hump?

This is the first in a series of short articles on my ongoing obsession- the cause and treatment of neck pain.

Dowager’s Hump is the term commonly used for a bump at the base of the neck. It is usually associated with the elderly, but I’m finding it increasingly in younger and younger people.

The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has encouraged forward head posture, and in many people the spine adapts to holding the head in this position. The neck muscles have to work harder and harder as the head is held forward.spines_1024-300x199Assessment of Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused by Posture and Position of the Head, HANSRAJ K, Surgical Technology International. 2014

There are simple things you can do improve your posture, your potential hump and all those unwanted aches and pains. Being aware of your posture is the first step and will find you feel more confident and more in charge of your body.

5.1 Posture check
Figure 1.1

Check your posture by standing with your feet 6-10 centimetres from a wall. You should be able to comfortably place the back of your head, your shoulders and your bottom against the wall without markedly changing your posture (Figure 1.1).







8 Wall exercise
Figure 1.1b

As an exercise, rest the back of your hands and forearms on the wall and gently slide them up and down the wall without increasing the arch of your back (Figure 1.1b). Repeat slowly, but painlessly 8-10 times. As your back muscles get stronger and your chest muscles get longer, you will be able to take your arms higher and higher up the wall.

By: Alex Sherborne, Physiotherapist


Exercises extract from New Bodyworks book by Francine St.George.

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