Wellness Hack: How Using a Mobile Phone Causes Cervical Spinal Injury, and How Can We Fix It? – The Epoch Times

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In 2019, in the “Top Ten Persistent Diseases in the World” published by the World Health Organization (WHO), cervical spondylosis ranked second to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. Cervical spondylosis is one of the main causes of pain in modern people.
The pace of our lives gets faster than ever. Due to long working hours, hunching our shoulders as we type, or scrolling on our mobile phones, we are constantly straining our neck muscles. Did you know that using the wrong type of pillow can also cause neck injury?
When our body is accustomed to poor posture and wrong muscle placement, such as burying our head on the mobile phone and improper exercise in the workplace, we are prone to stiffness and suffer from a cervical spinal injury, headache, vertigo, and so on.
Lack of exercise and poor flexibility and blood circulation can also lead to muscle and neck pain.
Dr. Wu Kuo-Bin, director of Xinyitang Chinese Medicine Clinic, explained the impact of cervical spinal injury and how it can be treated at home.
USC Spine Center Los Angeles stated that a cervical dislocation or misalignment is a ligament injury in the neck, and two or more of the adjoining spine bones have become unusually separated from each other, which causes instability.
Upper cervical spine fractures and spinal cord injuries can affect the neurologic control of breathing; patients may experience difficulty breathing or the inability to take a deep breath.
In western medicine, doctors diagnose cervical vertebral dislocation with X-ray and imaging studies. Some patients don’t realize the severity of their neck injuries or disorders and often downplay their symptoms.
MD Mark J. Sponamore, a clinician at USC Spine Center stated in an article that imaging studies such as X-rays or Computer Tomography Scans (CT Scans) are usually ordered to detect cervical dislocation or if fracture might be present. Sometimes a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test can also be facilitated to rule out any nerve compression or spinal cord injury.
At the moment, western medicine treatments for cervical spine dislocation or neck pain are limited. The spinal injury expert said on his blog, “While some might require surgeries, others can only lessen the pain through non-operative means.”
Traditional Chinese Medicine physician Dr. Wu Kuo-pin pointed out that cervical vertebral dislocation is very common.
Dr. Wu recommended, “Instead of suffering from constant pain or relying on painkillers for temporary relief, patients can do cervical spine self-treatment to alleviate discomfort.”
The doctor emphasized that regular stretching and training neck muscles can significantly improve cervical spine misalignment and diseases caused by it.
Dr. Wu pointed out, “Most commonly when it comes to neck pain, it starts from the shoulders. The tenderness or soreness will later expand to the neck area. As the conditions worsen, the patient will suffer from head swelling and migraine. Pain and tension can also travel down the arms and wrists.”
The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) expert said that by the time the patient experiences pain around the arm and wrist, they are possibly suffering from spinal cord dislocation.
Dr. Wu illustrated, “Our cervical spine connects the skull and the body, and it consists of a total of seven bones. The cervical spine contains the spinal cord, nerves, and blood vessels. Its importance is indescribable. However, structurally, it is a very fragile part of our body.”
The doctor warned that poor sitting and prolonged standing postures have detrimental consequences. Bending our necks forward to look down at mobile phones can also easily lead to cervical vertebral misalignment. The spinal misalignment causes shoulder and neck pain, headache, nausea, and tinnitus. Additionally, in any event of an accident, if the cervical spine is injured, it can lead to quadriplegia and death in severe cases.
Studies have found that 85 percent of people over the age of 60 have cervical spondylosis. With the change of lifestyle, patients with cervical spondylosis are becoming younger.
TCM physician Dr. Wu pointed out that although cervical misalignment is clinically common, it is often ignored. “For instance, the neurological manifestations of cervical spondylosis include concussion sequelae, pediatric cerebral palsy, vascular neuropathic headache, transient ischemic attack, epilepsy, and pro-aging dementia. Cardiovascular system disorders like hypertension and coronary heart diseases are no exception.”
How does traditional Chinese medicine look at cervical misalignment?
Due to the limited western treatment for cervical spondylosis, patients often seek alternative medicine for pain or discomfort relief.
In Chinese medicine, neck or spinal dislocation would cause insufficient blood flow to the head, which leads to nerve conduction, after a prolonged period, the mentioned diseases will start to appear.
Dr. Wu said there are several ways to detect spinal dislocation or misalignment. Evaluating Patients’ sleeping patterns and habits are important. The doctor said, “No matter how many pillows the patient changes, they toss and turn and just can’t get to sleep steadily. Their cervical spine feels sore when they wake up.”
The second thing to look out for is any discomfort in the upper body and difficulty in breathing. Dr. Wu said the head often would feel swollen and painful like a migraine, whereas the neck would feel sore. “When these symptoms occur, the pain affects the patient from the head. The pain then expands to the shoulders and the upper back.” Dr. Wu explained.
The third thing is to press manually and firmly the lateral protrusion of the cervical vertebrae, which would feel a strong soreness.
How to avoid a neck or spinal injury?
Dr. Wu gave us a few pointers on what to do to minimize injuring our neck injuries.
Our neck supports our head, which is a heavy part of our body. If you are often scrolling on your cell phone with your head down, chances are you are at risk of neck strain.
Regular exercise and stretching improve blood circulation and metabolic rates. Our metabolism repairs damaged parts of our body. Strength training is also recommended as it lessens injuries. A neck workout is the easiest and most manageable exercise without any equipment.
A neck workout is an easy at-home or office workout. It incorporates slow movements of the head, neck, shoulders, and arms. So we can realign our cervical spine and body again.
In a sitting or standing position, look up and slowly raise your head. Make sure both shoulders are pulling downwards, away from your head, as it lifts. Repeat five times.

1. In a sitting position, place your left hand on the side of the chair.
2. Tilt your upper body to the right. Your left hand, upper body, and head should now be gently pulling in the opposite direction.
If you do this correctly, you should feel the muscle stretches on the left side of your neck and cervical spine.
3. Hold your position for 10 seconds.
4. witch side.
5. Repeat five sets.

Use the thumb to massage along the groove under the skull, that is, the acupuncture points of traditional Chinese medicine: Tianzhu, Fengchi, Anmian, Yifeng, etc.

You can also firmly press the Fengchi acupoint with your thumb, relax neck muscles and shake your head gently from side to side so the dislocated first cervical vertebra can be gently relocated.

Extend the index finger, middle finger, and ring finger of the right hand to the right side of the cervical spine, and knead the muscles of the right neck from top to bottom. Change to the opposite side, and massage the left cervical vertebra.
Dr. Wu said that if you feel a pain point like a lump in the process of massage, it is the dislocation point of the backward rotation of the transverse process of the cervical vertebra.

Taking the lateral process of the right cervical vertebrae as an example, place the thumb of the right hand on the dislocated cervical vertebra, and press the transverse process of the dislocated cervical vertebra firmly from the back to the front (if the strength is insufficient, you can use the other hand to support it to increase the pressure), continue to press for 30 seconds to 1 minute when the strong soreness disappears, it means that the dislocated cervical vertebra has returned to its original position.

In a sitting position, lean your upper body forward until your cervical spine is level with the ground, nodding and turning your head gently and slowly. During the rotation, if you feel a sore spot, stop at that position for 10 seconds; then increase the rotation angle for 10 seconds, and finally increase the rotation angle for 10 seconds. In this way, the point where the cervical vertebra is stuck will slowly loosen!

Turn your head towards 8 compass directions, which move all the vertebral bodies of the cervical spine.

Dr. Wu pointed out that these first seven neck workouts relax the neck muscles. You will feel more awake as your blood circulation improves. It will also help boost sleep quality.
This next workout mimics butterfly strokes in swimming.
1. Put both hands horizontally parallel to the shoulders.
2. With both palms facing down, stretch all your fingers as far as you can.
3. Then raise your arms, roll your shoulders backward.
Gently raise up and then draw a circle with your arms starting forward. Return to the original position. Repeat ten times.
4. Change directions. Draw a circle with your arms starting backward. Repeat ten times.
Dr. Wu emphasized that the key to this movement is to rotate the scapula from the back to the front. This action can instantly loosen the muscles of the neck, shoulders, and upper back. It will feel very sore when doing it, but the effect is remarkable.

“This, together with butterfly stroke,s results in effective body realignment and opening,” said Dr. Wu.
1. Following butterfly strokes, tilt your head backward.
2. Eyes gaze forward.
3. Shake your head slowly to the left and right ten times.

Dr. Wu said that doing workouts 8 and 9 consecutively can improve the symptoms of hand numbness caused by the compression of cervical vertebrae 5, 6, and 7, and can effectively improve the symptoms of cervical vertebrae.
Dr. Wu reminded, “Always remember to rotate your neck regularly and don’t hunch forward with your head down.”
Which neck exercise works best for you?


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