“Live Long and Prosper”
We’re always looking for ways to be healthy – to avoid all of the diseases and ailments that plagued our parents and grandparents.
In the TV series, Star Trek, Spock always thought logically. If we were to ask him about neck pain or back pain, he would suggest that we seek to discover the true cause of the pain: a pinched nerve.
A nerve becomes pinched when one of your vertebra slips out of its proper alignment.
If you’re suffering from a pinched nerve and want to continue to have a prosperous and healthy life, you must correct the alignment of our vertebrae by restoring proper movement, and alleviating the pressure on your nerves.
“It is Curious How Often You Humans Manage to Obtain That Which You Do Not Want”
No one wants to have a pinched nerve.
Yet, many of us continue to do the things that cause a pinched nerve on a daily basis.
For example, while I’m writing this, I’m sitting on my back porch with my laptop on my lap. My head and neck are bent forward.
Maintaining this posture for a significant period of time leads to neck pain, and eventually, forward head posture.
There are so many of us are suffering from neck pain and headaches because of our constant use of technology, that these symptoms now have their own name: text neck.
Why do we continue using our phones and laptops in a way that’s harmful to our skeletal structure?
“I’m Afraid That’s Illogical, Captain”
I like to work in a variety of settings. There’s something peaceful about working outside or at a Starbucks, leaning over my laptop with earbuds instead of sitting in my properly aligned workstation where my external monitor is at eye level and my keyboard is at exactly the right height.
Many of us already know that looking down at our phones or computers for long periods of time isn’t good for our neck, but we often get sucked in to social media or into watching a video. We don’t want to wait and watch it on the YouTube channel on our TV with our head and neck up.
And before we know it, we’ve been leaning over our phone for half an hour.
Our impatience gets the better of us. Our head and neck become stiff, and we eventually have a pinched nerve that’s so painful that we can’t even look over our shoulder.
“There is No Reason That Function Should Not Be Beautiful. In Fact, Beauty Makes It More Effective“
Our spine was designed to hold the weight of our head as long as it sits directly on top of it. When our vertebrae are properly stacked on top of one another, our neck and upper back have no difficulty holding up the weight of our head.
The spine is a beautiful thing when it works properly.
For every inch that your head leans forward, you’re adding 10 pounds of additional pressure on the bones in your neck.
Eventually, this pressure causes your vertebra to become misaligned and a pinched nerve often results.
If we correct our posture, our spine functions better. The beauty of a properly aligned spine actually makes it function more effectively.
“Insufficient Facts Always Invite Danger”
We live in a world where the answer to almost every question is at our fingertips. The problem is that not everything we read or hear is a fact.
We’ve been conditioned to take a pain pill whenever we get a headache or a stiff neck, but not only do these medications have side effects with long-term use, they’re not actually addressing the root cause of the pain.
If you’re experiencing pain from a pinched nerve for more than a few days, it’s best to seek the advice of a trained medical professional in musculoskeletal health.
“Change is the Essential Process of All Existence”
Spock understood the importance of change.
Here are some tips to help you establish new healthy habits to prevent a pinched nerve in the future:
- Set a timer on your computer or watch for every 30 minutes. When it goes off, try a few neck exercises, get up and grab a glass of water or take a short stroll through the office. These exercises can ‘reset’ your spine, and my be just the thing you need to prevent a pinched nerve.
- Consider your sleep habits. If you sleep on your side, make sure your pillow is firm, and if you’re a stomach sleeper, it’s time to retrain your body. Sleeping on your stomach is one of the most common causes of a pinched nerve in your neck.
- Go for a walk. If your daily habit is to sit at your computer most of the day, sit in your car on the way home and then sit in front of the TV in the evening, you’re not giving your body an opportunity to stretch. Your muscles can become stiff and strained. Build a daily walk into your routine. Here’s a list of some of the best places to walk or hike in the Kansas City area.
“Creativity is Necessary for the Health of the Body”
Your spine is an amazing fortress, incredibly designed to protect your central nervous system. Think creatively about ways that you can add movement and stretching to your daily routine.
Limit yourself to short bursts of time when you’re leaning over your phone, and don’t allow yourself to be ‘stuck’ in one position for too long. Be creative with different ways to keep your phone and other electronics at eye level.
Your body will thank you for it.