Sat, Feb 02, 2013 - Page 11 News List

Using smartphones or tablet computers in bed increases neck and shoulder pain
床上低頭族 肩頸痠麻更嚴重

An ophthalmologist gestures while standing next to a patient wearing a neck brace while looking at her smartphone in Greater Tainan on Dec. 25 last year.
一位眼科醫師去年十二月二十五日於台南,站在一位戴頸圈、看智慧型手機的病人旁。

Photo: Meng Ching-tzu, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者孟慶慈

Doctors say that people who enjoy using their smartphones or tablet computers while lying in bed should be aware that the curve of cervical vertebrae while lying down is 45 degrees, compared to the 30-degree curve that occurs when seated, increasing one’s chances of experiencing soreness and stiffness in the neck and shoulders, as well as one’s hands going numb.

A female preschool teacher surnamed Fang, who purchased a smartphone several months back, had become obsessed with the constant access to new information at a moment’s notice, and was spending at least an hour every night in bed staring at her cellphone before going to sleep, checking posts online from friends on social networks. For the past half month, she had been having trouble moving her head after her neck stayed in a certain position for an extended period of time and was experiencing severe pain. After going to the Department of Physical Rehabilitation at Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital’s Greater Taichung Branch, it was discovered that her pain was caused by poor posture.

After using a hot compress, traction and diathermy to improve the symptoms in her neck, her physical therapist, Yang Chen-chia, suggested that she pay more attention to her posture and not look at her smartphone while lying in bed.

Yang says that the cervical vertebrae are structurally fragile, consisting of seven vertebrae in all. Problems can arise quite easily if a single vertebra is used excessively, particularly the fourth to sixth vertebrae. Yang once had a 30-year-old patient who, although quite young, had to have surgery because of severe degeneration in the cervical vertebrae.

Yang suggests that you see a physical therapist as soon as you start experiencing neck and shoulder pain in order to ease the symptoms through proper physical rehabilitative treatment. More than 80 percent of patients show good results, he says. Watching television or reading while lying in bed can cause neck and shoulder pain. Remember to move your shoulders and neck every 30 minutes, but be sure to control the range of motion and avoid moving too rapidly. Moving your head toward your chest, leaning your head back, turning your head to the left and right, and making circular shrugging movements with your shoulders can all help alleviate shoulder and neck pain, Yang says.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. numb adj.

麻木的 (ma2 mu4 de5)

例: It’s so cold out that my face is completely numb.

(外面冷到我整個臉全麻木了。)

2. obsessed with v. phr.

著迷 (zhao2 mi2)

例: Natalie’s obsessed with her new book. She read it three times this month.

(娜塔利迷上她的新書。她這個月已看了三遍。)

3. posture n.

姿勢 (zi1 shi4)

例: I finally developed good posture after practicing yoga for several years.

(我練瑜珈幾年才終於練成好姿勢。)


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

愛躺、靠在床上使用手機或平板電腦的「床上低頭族」,醫師提醒,頸椎前曲角度達四十五度以上,比坐著的三十度大,將會使得肩頸痠痛、僵硬或是手麻的「肩頸症候群」更嚴重。

在幼兒園任教的方小姐幾個月前添購智慧型手機,著迷於時刻接收最新資訊的感覺,臨睡前也盯著手機看社群朋友上傳的各種訊息至少一個小時。最近半個月一覺醒來,脖子轉到固定角度就難以動彈,肩頸非常痠痛,她到慈濟醫院台中分院復健科就診發現,原來是不正確姿勢引發不適。

方小姐接受頸部熱敷、牽引與電療改善症狀,復健科醫師楊鎮嘉也建議她平時應注意姿勢,不能再當「床上低頭族」。

楊鎮嘉強調,頸椎是很脆弱的結構,共有七節,如果長期過度使用某一節,尤其是第四到六節,久了就容易出問題,曾有三十歲病患年紀輕輕頸椎就退化到需要開刀的程度。

楊鎮嘉建議,出現「肩頸症候群」時,可尋求復健科幫助,藉由適當復健治療緩和症狀,八成以上成效都不錯,躺在床上看電視、看書,也容易引發「肩頸症候群」,記得要半小時動一動肩頸,但注意幅度不要太大、動作不要太快,脖子往前、往後活動,往左、往右轉,肩膀往前往後劃圈,便可以舒緩「肩頸症候群」。

(自由時報記者謝鳳秋)

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