Pokémon Go and Tech Neck

About a month ago, while strolling with my family in downtown Fort Collins, it took no time to realize that almost every person was glued to their smartphone. It took me a bit, but I realized that it was not just common texting, but people were actually playing Pokémon Go. As a chiropractor, I could not help but cringe at the immense strain and pressure exerted on the upper back and neck.

Pokémon Go is a thriller! Since its release in July 2016, over 130 million have downloaded the app. Utilizing GPS technology, the game is set so that the gamer has to get out to locate, capture, and even battle virtual creatures (Pokémon) hidden in the real world but displayed on the screen. While the game has been associated with diverse benefits because it gets people out of their chairs and moving around, my attention was drawn to Tech Neck problem.

What is Tech Neck?

Today, we are engulfed in the use of handheld electronic devices. After using handheld devices for some time, they can cause chronic pain and extreme discomfort on the neck and upper back. One such problem is Tech Neck that results from many hours spent in an unnatural position on the tablet or mobile phone while texting, browsing or gaming.

Over time, Tech Neck intensifies resulting to poor posture, disc degeneration and other serious complications like arthritis. If the affected person is young, the problem can be more complicated because bones are still developing. The main symptoms of Tech Neck include the following:

  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Eye strain
  • Bone spurs
  • Pinched nerves
  • Arthritis back discs
  • Knotted shoulders
  • Chronic posture issues
  • These symptoms culminate to reducing productivity.

Pokémon Go raises the risk of suffering from Tech Neck

To play Pokémon Go, you must be glued and deeply involved searching for the creatures to catch, battle, and even train them. Many people bend their neck as the thrill intensifies and only stop when neck pain and headache commences. Well, you have to protect your neck, posture, and complete body health to keep enjoying the thrill.

How to stay free from Tech Neck when playing Pokémon Go

  • Always try positioning handheld electronic devices at the eye level

Your tablet or smartphone should always be held at eye level. This prevents you from bending the neck and suffering from Tech Neck and other complications. Though it might appear a little strenuous, keep after it and you will get used to it over time. Besides, keep reminding yourself the ultimate goal; staying free from Tech Neck and other back problems.

  • Take breaks even in the middle of Pokémon Go

I tried playing the game and stopping when you are about to find a Pokémon can hurt. However, that break is part of what you need to stop the disastrous Tech Neck problem. Make sure to aim for a break every 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remember that even if the game is pretty enthralling, staying as pain-free as possible is what will help you keep playing. Therefore, take the break!

  • Get a check-up at the chiropractor’s office

If you notice you are having pain even after you stop playing, you may need to get checked by a chiropractor to ensure that you aren’t creating a long term problem. A visit Inner Vitality Chiropractic gives you a chance to have a comprehensive check-up of the upper back, neck discs, and entire spine for assurance that everything is okay. If you do have a problem, Dr. Jeremy Overholt will identify it, give the best recommendations to correct it and keep you playing!

Also, Dragonair is rumored to roam this area as well!