We’re at a point in time that it is often more acceptable to send a text message than it is to actually call and talk someone. This is honestly great sometimes! There are instances where a quick text works great to relay a message rather than engaging in a full-blown conversation. However, we’ve noticed that texting is becoming the more preferred method of communication, and your neck is suffering because of it. We’re going to call this modern day spine ailment, and neck pain aggregator: text neck. We’ve talked previously about how the value of having good posture, so today we’re going to focus on:
- What is Text Neck?
- Who is Affected by Text Neck?
- Symptoms of Text Neck
- How to Avoid Neck Pain
- How Chiropractic Care can Help with Neck Pain and Text Neck
What is Text Neck?
“Text Neck” is a phrase we use for a forward head posture. Forward head posture, which is a completely preventable condition, has been around for years and has become increasingly more common with the modern use of cell phones and computers. It puts your neck and spine anywhere from a 15-60 degree angle, and with the weight of your head, it takes a serious toll on your cervical spine.
Who is Affected by Text Neck?
You may believe this condition is only prevalent in millennials and the younger generation we always see using their smartphones in public. But as I sit here writing this, I have to admit my current posture is not perfect, and my head has actually been rather pushed forward… What I’m trying to convey, is that text neck and postural issues while using smartphones and computers affects all users, regardless of your age or occupation.
Today, 95% of Americans own a cell phone, and 77% own a smartphone. According to the Pew Research Center, this is a huge leap from the mere 35% of total smartphone owners in 2011. And about 12% of America is considered smartphone dependent. Meaning just over one-in-ten American adults access the Internet solely from their smartphone.
Imagine every time you wanted to Google something, send an email, or make an online purchase you used your cell phone. Now add on all your texting, social media connecting, and Internet browsing. Consider the amount of time you would be on your smartphone: looking down at the device in your hands, with a bent neck and rounded shoulders.
How often do you look at your mobile device each day? Do you notice how your posture changes when you send a text or check your social media?
The majority of people are on their smartphone for several hours a day. And unless you are in perfect posture, you are inadvertently putting unnecessary pressure on your cervical spine. How much pressure, you ask? Well, an adult head weighs around 10-12 pounds in the neutral position. When the neck is bent at a 60-degree angle, the weight put on your spine can increase to 60 pounds! View the graphic below to see just how heavy looking down on your smartphone can be on your neck!
Symptoms of Text Neck
- Neck pain
- Upper back pain
- Muscle spasms in upper back and neck
- Chronic dull pain in upper back and neck
- Pain and tingling in the upper extremities
- Shoulder pain and tightness
How to Avoid Neck Pain
When it comes to avoiding neck pain from text neck, the solutions are fairly simple. Our first recommendation would be to take a digital detox and lay off the smartphone. But we know that isn’t a realistic solution for many of you. However, there are ways to reduce neck pain from smartphone use without having to cut it out all together. Consider the following tips to avoid neck pain:
- Hold your smartphone up and at eye level. Try to keep your head at a neutral level, reducing the amount of weight put on your spine.
- If you are someone who texts or emails frequently from your smartphone, allow yourself breaks throughout the day to rest your neck.
- These same tips go for when you are using desktop computers, laptops and tablets as well. Try to keep your screens at eye level to reduce neck pain.
It is incredibly important to break the habits of poor posture to avoid major issues that can form in your spine, neck and shoulders over time.
Chiropractic Care to Relieve Neck Pain from Text Neck
Chiropractic care is an all-natural and drug-free approach to pain relief. When you allow yourself to fall into poor posture during smartphone use day in and day out, a build-up of muscle tension will develop over time. When you have this build-up of pressure throughout your shoulders, neck, and spine, chiropractic adjustments can help you find relief. We are able to realign your vertebra, which reduces the strain on your joints and muscles.
At Chesapeake Family Wellness Center, you are able to supplement your chiropractic services with massage therapy! A combination of these two treatments can be incredibly effective for relieving neck pain, restoring shoulder mobility, and improving your overall quality of life. It is our only wish for you to find the fastest relief to the pain you are suffering from!
So what’s stopping you? Schedule an appointment with us today to kick that neck pain!