Everyone enjoys playing video games, maybe too much.
Chiropractor Dr. Cheryl Vincent with Simsbury Chiropractic and Wellness Center warns about what she calls “Nintendo Neck.”
What is Nintendo Neck?
Most call it “text neck,” but it just refers to neck pain caused by looking down at video game screens, cell phones, and laptops for an extended period of time.
The human head weights between 10-12 pounds, and when you lean forward or hunch forward, you’re doubling that weight, which is one of the factors on who you feel pain. So, for example, if you lean 15 degrees forward, it’s as if your head weights 27 pounds. So, when your hunched 60 degrees forward, you’re putting a 60 pound strain on your neck!
With neck pain patients also complain of shoulder pain, headaches, elbow, wrist and hand pain. Even carpal tunnel syndrome is an issue for anyone who works conditions or electronic use calls for repetitive, forceful hand movements.
A few tips to help prevent carpel tunnel syndrome:
- Keeping the wrists as straight as possible when using devices.
- Limit repetitive motions of one finger and thumb when using hand-held devices.
- Take regular resting breaks.
Here are some pointers on how to reduce the possibility of Nintendo neck:
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Stretch your neck and shoulders in all directions at least every hour if you are working on a computer all day.
- Be aware of posture, try to keep your neck over your shoulders and prevent slouching.
Nintendo neck treatment
A chiropractic adjustment is the best way to affect the nervous system which controls everything.
Also joint manipulation of shoulders, elbows, wrist and hands would help prevent Nintendo neck.
Massage therapy can be used alongside chiropractic care to provide soft tissue therapy for overused muscle.
What is recommended to reduce ‘overuse’ of electronic devices?
- Taking a break and stretch every thirty minutes while playing the computer or playing games.
- It is recommended that children get 1-2 hour of physical activity per day.
- Two hours is advised for the limit of computer or gaming use.
- For kids, those early years are a crucial time to lay the foundation of core strength and postural muscles.
About the author:
Dr. Brian Bartholomew owns and operates Ithaca Family Chiropractic in Ithaca, NY. His expertise is in pediatric care and structural corrective chiropractic care for all ages.
Dr. Bartholomew is available for outside speaking for businesses, churches, groups, athletic teams, rotaries, health food stores and anyone who wants to take charge of their health naturally!