You may have heard talk lately of text neck on the news or from friends and there is good cause for the increased attention. This modern condition is becoming more and more common, creating cause for concern for all of us who regularly use our personal electronics.
What is Text Neck?
The term ‘text neck’ refers to the unnatural alignment of the neck that occurs when using personal electronics, like cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc. Due to overuse of these devices, we spend extended periods of time looking down which causes increased stress on the cervical spine from the weight of the head shifting forward. So regular use can seriously affect the alignment of our neck, and in time, can bring more serious health risks. Over time, this causes the head to jut forward increasing the weight and load on the joints of the neck. If this particular posture continues, it can even cause straightening or reversal of the natural curvature in the neck.
What Does Text Neck Feel Like?
Most with this condition report
- neck pain
- increased headaches
- upper back pain
- tension in the shoulders
Complications From Text Neck
Looking down frequently for long periods of time can actually change the alignment of the neck. This is because the human head weighs 10-12 lbs. so if it isn’t sitting where it was meant to, it can cause a significant amount of pressure on the cervical spine. For every additional inch that the head comes forward, it adds 10 pounds of pressure to the neck!
Without treatments, text neck could cause pinched nerves, herniated discs, and can permanently affect the curvature of your neck and spine.
Things You Can Do to Prevent Text Neck
Luckily there are things you can do to prevent this condition. For starters:
- Limit the time on your phone
- Be conscious of your posture
- Take regular breaks throughout your day from work/electronics
- Do neck and shoulder stretches throughout your day
- Get adjusted
It’s important to be aware of your posture, neck alignment, and the time spent on your phone, etc. This condition is new and we haven’t seen the full spectrum of complications it may cause, but we can tell you that we should avoid additional pressure on the delicate neck/spine at all costs!
By receiving regular chiropractic care, we can minimize the effects that texting has on our spines. We know that technology isn’t going anywhere, so it our job to maintain those healthy spines, even with increased cell phone usage. Even more importantly, it’s crucial to get our kids checked by a chiropractor. It’s essential that we keep their spines healthy from a young age to prevent and slow down degeneration of the spine. It’s an investment in their future health!