Feel like you’re addicted to your phone?
Certain substances can affect our brains; releasing dopamine and causing us to feel rewarded, giving us a sense of pleasure and causing us to keep seeking out this feeling of euphoria. The same thing can happen with different behaviours, such as gambling, gaming, nail biting and also the use of technology – or more specifically, mobile phones.
We don’t realise, but many of us are indeed addicted to our phones – it’s the first thing many people check in the morning, the last thing they look at before bed at night, and also a way to pass the time while waiting around during the day.
Some common signs and symptoms of addiction may include;
- Craving – in this case, an urge to have the phone with you at all times, looking at it constantly and compulsively.
- Going beyond the normal use – do you find yourself constantly on your phone?
- Is it hard to stop looking at your phone even if you’re actively trying not to?
- Are you looking at your phone instead of doing other things that are more important? Getting ready for work in the morning, cooking dinner, etc.?
- Not particularly enjoying being on your phone, however finding yourself on it anyway?
If most of the points above seem familiar, you may be addicted to your phone, or an activity/app related to your phone (commonly Facebook, Instagram, etc.).
How does being addicted to my phone affect my physical health?
Well, think about it; when most people are absorbed in their phones, they’re not usually holding their phones up level with their faces – they’re usually looking down at their phone, which is usually in their lap or resting on a surface below their shoulders. They usually look like they’re in an uncomfortable position but don’t seem too bothered by it.
You’ll notice their necks are bent at an awkward angle to assist them in viewing the screen and their shoulders are usually hunched, with their shoulders rotated inward. This can cause immense strain on the muscles involved as the neck struggles to hold the weight of our head.
Did you know?
The weight of our head is roughly 8% of our body mass – this means that on an average person (weighing about 70 kilograms) the head could weigh roughly 5.5 kilograms – that’s similar to a bowling ball!
That is all without the added stress of forward head posture – when we angle our heads down the effects of gravity and also pulling the muscles away from their origin points on the body causes our heads to feelheavier. Our neck and shoulder muscles start to feel the effort of holding such a weight in an unnatural position for an extended period of time.
These are just the effects on the neck and upper shoulder muscles. I hadn’t yet mentioned the negative impact on our eyes, our wrists and hands (a weight can seem heavier over time, especially to the smaller joints in our hands), and also our thumbs!
Many people come into the clinic with a sore neck and I always have to wonder what their phone habits are like.
How can Myotherapy help me with these physical effects?
Myo-: a prefix relating to muscle +therapist: a person skilled in a particular kind of therapy
A myotherapists’ specialty is your muscles! We identify which muscles aren’t working the way they should for reasons such as postural issues & daily activities that could be causing a problem or even using special tests to ascertain whether or not there’s something going on that we can’t see that may warrant a visit to the GP or another practitioner such as a Chiropractor.
We’ll listen to your concerns and try to determine what the cause may be – we’ll ask you what your daily habits are like, what activities you undertake during the day/week and try to determine what could be hindering your muscles from working properly.
We’ll then treat these muscles and also provide you with some tips to keep the pain away, such as correct posture for undertaking these activities (for example, using your phone at eye level or just below so your neck isn’t affected negatively), taking regular breaks and stretches that will keep your muscles from staying contracted and possibly causing pain and headaches.
So next time you’re having a headache, or experiencing neck pain – think about what you do during the day; do you think you could be addicted to your phone? Are you suffering physically because of it?
Come see a Myotherapist at Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre and we’ll help relieve the physical pain of phone addiction!
**We also have other practitioners here that will be able to help with your addiction and the emotional effects. When you come in to the clinic we can help connect you with someone that can help you with the mental aspect of this addiction and why it may be occurring whilst we work on the physical effects.
About the author:
Cristina is resident Myotherapist at Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre with a special Interest in injury and post-surgery rehabilitation, chronic/acute pain relief and deep-tissue massage.
In the past 4 years I’ve enjoyed the rewarding nature of helping people get through their pain so that they can get on with living the best life they can – pain free.