Chiropractors in perfect position to help with ‘laptop-itis’

Girl working on laptop

"Laptop-itis" -- a growing problem

For years, chiropractors have been in the forefront of posture-related health care and have led the campaign to raise awareness of heavy backpacks that can distort the young student’s posture. Now, they’re seeing an increase in the number of young people with neck, shoulder, and back problems caused by hunching over a laptop computer.

“More and more patients, mostly young adults, are coming to chiropractic offices for upper back pain, and this is something doctors need to be aware of,” Terry A. Rondberg, DC, founder and CEO of the World Chiropractic Alliance noted recently. “The medical profession has dubbed it ‘laptop-itis,’ only half jokingly. They’ll be recommending pain pills and surgery for these kids. If chiropractors can help them first, with adjustments as well as education on posture, we may keep them from the surgeon’s knife.”

Because of the way the computers are designed, using a laptop almost inevitably leads to poor posture, noted Kevin Carneiro, DO, a doctor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, one of several medical institutions addressing the laptop issue.

The widespread use of laptops in schools (some colleges actually require students to purchase them) means an even greater problem in the future.

“Just as they did with backpacks, chiropractors can step up and become the number one resource for helping students avoid these postural problems, and care for those already showing symptoms,” Dr. Rondberg added.

Some tips to pass on to patients who use laptops:

SOURCES: The World Chiropractic Alliance; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine

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