I got a really stiff neck this morning when I was sitting in bed, reading my kindle and checking emails on my phone. However, I'm not alone - a recent study carried out by the British Chiropractic Association has revealed that nearly 44% of the British population currently suffering from back or neck pain - up by 12% since 2010.
It's just possible that some of this can be attributable to our daily activities - in particular the use of 'mobile technology devices' - smart phones, laptops, mp3 players and tablets in particular. Nearly three quarters (74%) of those questioned by the BCA typically use technology devices for work every day and a huge 88% of respondents continue using it in their own time. The broad capability and range of modern mobile devices available, coupled with significant advances in internet access, means that technology is incorporated into nearly every part of the daily routine. Not surprisingly, over half the respondents (52%) used a mobile device while walking, over a third (38%) use one on a tube or train, and over half (51%) have used a device whilst in bed.
It's really important that we recognise the impact that stooping forward, hunched over a small screen, peering at a tiny font or video can have on our bodies - and it's important that we do everything we can to minimise the potentially detrimental effect.
A few simple hints and tips for gadget users...
Have a look at this short video to ensure that your posture is correct - whether at your desk or in an armchair...
A recent study, published in the peer reviewed journal Spine, compared the efficacy of 'chiropractic manipulative therapy' (CMT) when combined with 'standard medical care' (SMC) for the treatment of acute low back pain (i.e. low back pain that had been present for less than four weeks) in comparison with standard medical care (SMC) on its own.
The findings were impressive - the researchers found that the group that had received chiropractic care (CMT) in addition to standard medical care (SMC) improved more than those who had just received standard medical care on its own. Those patients in the combined group reported that their pain was reduced more and they had greater improvement in physical functioning than those who had received just standard medical care (SMC).
Looking at the results in more detail we can see exactly how the participants were treated. Those under 'standard medical care' (SMC) received anything from a number of possible interventions including prescription of painkillers and anti-inflammatories, self-management advice, use of ice/heat packs, and sometimes referral for physiotherapy or the pain clinic. Those in the combined treatment group received any, or all of these, but also received chiropractic treatment - primarily chiropractic manipulation or adjustments. Using various different pain rating questionnaires, the participants were assessed on day 1 and then again after 2 and 4 weeks. Global improvements indicating that pain was completely gone, much better, or moderately better were reported by 73% of participants in the chiropractic manipulative therapy group (CMT) plus standard medical care (SMC) group, but by only 17% in the SMC group. Not only that, but the overall satisfaction with care was greater for those in the medical care plus chiropractic care group.
This is obviously great news for chiropractic - it supports what we've been saying all along - what we do really works and makes you feel better. More so than popping pills. However, these results do need to be taken in context - it was, admittedly, only a relatively small study and was of fit, active military personnel - but it is a good study that supports the benefits, and efficacy, of chiropractic treatment.
Eich Ceiropractydd yng Nghlinig Ceiropracteg Llangefnii