HONG KONG, Jan. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As the COVID-19 Omicron variety continues to spread, chiropractors see a spike in neck pathology from work-from-home, remote learning during pandemic. For 30 years before the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of chiropractic patients were suffering from back pain.
However, due to an increase in individuals working from home and kids learning remotely, the majority of instances these days are to address neck pain, described by Dr Eric Chun-Pu Chu, chairman of Chiropractic Doctors Association of Hong Kong.
“There are a lot more neck cases,” Chu said. “In the past 2 years, more neck pathologies have been published with new symptoms like swallowing and acid reflux.” “Tech neck” isn’t a new phenomenon: computer use and texting have been contributing to an increase in neck pain over the past couple decades. But the issue is only getting worse during the COVID and new symptoms are showing up.
Based on the research at Adolescent Health, Medicine and Therapeutics (1), a teenage girl suffered from severe dizziness due to prolonged smartphone use for texting. Chu described, “She loses the curve in the neck just by losing the pure structure, the muscles get tight and she has severe dizziness. That’s why many people have been coming to chiropractic clinics with new symptoms like dizziness, numbness, and difficulty in swallowing, besides the regular neck pain. They had poor work set-ups at home.”
“Kids and adults frequently spend hours crouched over their laptops, benching their necks to stare at their computers, desks, kitchen counters, and even in bed. According the chiropractic case reports published in 2019-20, poor posture strains the neck muscle, puts pressure on spinal discs and joints and can lead to symptoms including dizziness (1, 2), neck pain (3), numbness (4), difficulty swallowing (5, 6), and acid reflux (7),” Chu said.
“But the symptoms can be reversed by making some lifestyle changes,” Chu said.
He recommended, “Either placing your desktop monitor slightly higher than eye level on the wall or purchasing an affordable monitor raise. You can lift your laptop and get an external keyboard if you use a laptop.“
He also mentioned, “An appropriate sleeping position is important. Lie down on your back with a pillow beneath your neck, not your head, to support the arch of your neck rather than the weight of your head.”
“We want to maintain a good posture and stay healthy during the new Omicron variety” Chu said. “But when you have other symptoms that are not neck pain, sometimes you can also ask your doctors if it’s related to posture.”
1) Chu EC, Wong AY. Cervicogenic Dizziness in an 11-Year-Old Girl: A Case Report. Adolesc Health Med Ther. 2021 Nov 26;12:111-116.
2) Chu EC, Zoubi FA, Yang J. Cervicogenic Dizziness Associated With Craniocervical Instability: A Case Report. J Med Cases. 2021 Nov;12(11):451-454.
3) Chu ECP, Chakkaravarthy DM, Lo FS, Bhaumik A. Atlantoaxial Rotatory Subluxation in a 10-Year-Old Boy. Clin Med Insights Arthritis Musculoskelet Disord. 2020 Jul 1;13:1179544120939069.
4) Chu ECP, Alleviating cervical radiculopathy by manipulative correction of reversed cervical lordosis 4 years follow-up. J Family Med Prim Care. 2021 Nov;10(11):4303-4306.
5) Chu ECP, Lee LYK. Cervicogenic dysphagia associated with cervical spondylosis: A case report and brief review. J Family Med Prim Care. 2021 Sep;10(9):3490-3493.
6) Chu ECP, Shum JSF, Lin AFC. Unusual Cause of Dysphagia in a Patient With Cervical Spondylosis. Clin Med Insights Case Rep. 2019 Dec 29;12:1179547619882707.
7) Chu EC, Butler KR. Resolution of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Following Correction for Upper Cross Syndrome-A Case Study and Brief Review. Clin Pract. 2021 May 21;11(2):322-326.