Twenty years ago, no one could have thought that we wouldn’t spend a day without a small screen in our pockets. And yet, today, it’s one of the most important items we own.
But alas, overuse of phones and tablets has led to a very modern condition: the “text neck.”
What Is “Text Neck”?
“Text neck” is a term that describes the poor posture that we assume when we lean forward to use our electronic devices for a prolonged time. The overuse of smartphones has led to this posture becoming fairly common, which in turn has caused us to experience the occasional headache, cervical, and shoulder pain.
Why Does It Happen?
The human head weighs about 12 pounds, and when we bend our necks forward for many hours at a stretch, our cervical spine expands. This can lead to an increased weight of about 30-60 pounds on the lower cervical spine, depending on how you angle your neck. For every inch you lower your head, the weight on your neck muscles increases. With time, the misalignment causes muscles to strain and wear away.
According to experts, neck pain tends to increase as you age, but today, there are more instances of neck pain in younger patients. It is true; the way you look at your phone can aggravate muscle, neck, and lower back pain. According to doctors, when you drop your head to look at your phone, firstly, your neck moves forward. That is followed by your shoulders coming forward or rising up to your ears. Lastly, the tensed neck and shoulder muscles contract and spasm.
Text neck can also lead to other problems for smartphone users. When we sit in a slumped position for long periods, our lungs cannot expand properly in this restricted situation. This leads to us inhaling less oxygen and our heart having to work twice as hard to spread oxygen-carrying blood to the different areas of the body.
Text neck is preventable, but you will have to make an effort to change the way you use your phone.
Follow these tips:
Learn the proper posture and neck position by standing next to a mirror. Look at your side profile. With the correct posture, your ear and shoulder should be vertically aligned.
Arch Your Back:
If you’re having trouble fixing your posture, do some light stretches. Arch your upper back and neck backwards, extending your shoulders into a straight alignment beneath your ears.
For more treatment options and chiropractic care, visit Arista Wellness Center in Katy. Our pain management physicians help treat chronic pain with physical therapy and more.
Get in touch to book your appointment now!