01/12/2016 by GOLDI JACQUES-MAYNES
Text Neck is an Injury You Can Avoid — Here's How
Text Neck is an overuse or repetitive stress injury. We are seeing more and more Text Neck as our lives move more and more online. When you your head is hung forward and down for extended periods of time, the weight of your head puts extreme stress on your neck.
Heavy is the forward leaning head
Your head's weight increases for every degree your ear moves in front of your shoulder. For example, if your upright head is a ten pound weight, at 15 degrees of forward flexion, it's weight increases to nearly 30 pounds.
Your neck is not made to hold this weight
Leaning over your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop will lead to pain, discomfort, and possibly long-term problems.
The more you use your devices, the more you may feel these acute symptoms —
- Cramping and tightening of the muscles in the back of your neck
- Extreme soreness, or ‘burning’ pain across the base of your neck
- Numbness or tingling in your hands
Over time Text Neck can lead to —
- Early onset arthritis
- Decreased lung capacity
Save yourself from long-term pain and discomfort
Stop overuse of your devices – set time limits, and stick to them.
Take frequent breaks while using your devices. Ideally, take a break every 15 minutes by looking away, preferably at the horizon. Getting up and stretching is also a good idea.
Change the angle from which you are viewing your device.
Raise your hand held device from your lap to somewhere near your chest. Tilt your head down to 5 degrees, and use your eyes to split the difference.
Practice posture focused exercises.
We recommend —
- Chin Retractions
- Corner Stretches
- Exercises for neck and shoulder pain
- Kinesiology tape, like Rocktape, for postural coaching
Pain getting worse? Seek medical attention
Chiropractors treat Text Neck using spinal manipulation and soft tissue/manual therapy. We also tend to prescribe effective posture based exercises.
In our experience, patients who have the best long-term relief —
- Get chiropractic adjustments
- Do postural exercises
- Make changes in the viewing angle of their device
Text Neck has become a serious problem as our use of devices has increased.
Continuing to suffer from Text Neck with no preventive action can have long-term negative effects. Don't risk your neck, take positive steps to reduce your chances of living with this injury. Get medical care, practice good ergonomics, and work towards healthy posture.