Text Neck is a Pain in the Neck

Text Neck is a Pain in the Neck! Text Neck is an overuse or repetitive stress injury from having your head hung forward and down for extended periods of time. When I was in Santa Cruz the other day, most every person I saw was slouched forward over their phone, with their shoulders drooped forward…

When I was in Santa Cruz the other day, most every person I saw was slouched forward over their phone, with their shoulders drooped forward and their neck hanging over their cell phone. The common culprits that give you Text Neck are mobile phones, tablets and laptops. As you move your head forward, its weight increases for every degree your ear moves in front of your shoulder. In other words, your head is a ten pound weight, but at 15 degrees of forward flexion, the weight of your head increases to nearly 30 pounds.

Your neck is simply not made to hold this weight! Your body will react negatively to this forward tilt of your head.

Acute symptoms you may notice happening more and more from the use of your devices:

  1. Cramping and tightening of the muscles in the back of neck
  2. Extreme soreness, or ‘burning’ pain across the base of the neck
  3. HEADACHES
  4. NERVE INVOLVEMENT: NUMBNESS OR TINGLING IN THE HAND

Chronic symptoms: over time Text Neck can lead to:

  1. Early onset arthritis
  2. Decreased lung capacity

If you suffer from any of the above mentioned symptoms, you can take action to save yourself from long term pain and discomfort by taking the following actions:

  1. Stop overuse of your smart device – limit time spent on it
  2. Take frequent breaks while using your devices. Ideally, take a break every 15 minutes by looking away, preferably at the horizon, or getting up and stretching.
  3. Change the angle from which you are viewing your device. This means raising your hand held device from your lap to somewhere near your chest. Then slightly tilt your head down to 5 degrees and use your eyes to split the difference.
  4. Practice Posture Focused Exercises. We recommend:
    CHIN TUCKS
    CORNER STRETCHES
  5. EXERCISES FOR NECK AND SHOULDER PAIN
  6. Use KINESIOLOGY TAPE LIKE ROCKTAPE for postural coaching.
  7. When your pain gets worse, seek medical attention

Chiropractors are uniquely qualified to treat this condition using spinal manipulation (what we call adjustments) and soft tissue/manual therapy. We will also likely prescribe effective posture based exercises. In my experience, patients who have the best long term relief from Text Neck in take the following three actions:
– chiropractic adjustments
– postural exercises
– changes in the viewing angle of their device

Text Neck is becoming a serious problem in this age of technological communications. If people suffering from Text Neck do not take preventive action, it can have long term negative effects. We at Golden Chiropractic would like to help you find relief. Call us at (831) 291-3330 or request an appointment online to begin treating your symptoms and get your neck back to health.

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