Text neck is the term used to describe the injuries and pain sustained from looking down at wireless devices for extended periods of time.
As mobile technology becomes more commonplace, people are spending more and more time with handheld devices like smartphones, e-readers and computer tablets. Studies suggest that 79% of the population, ages 18-44, have their cell phones with them for 22 hours per day.
Your head weighs around 5.5 kg, and if you spend a significant amount of time with your head bent forward and down as when texting, emailing, or gaming. The strain on your neck is substantial. Studies have shown when you bend your head forwards by just 15 degrees, its weight effectively triples. At 60 degrees its weight is 5 times greater. This is like carrying an 8 year old child around your neck for several hours a day.
The symptoms associated with text neck are:
- chronic headaches
- upper back pain
- shoulder pain
- neck pain
- increased curvature of the spine.
How do you treat text neck?
Chiropractors are well placed in the diagnosis and treatment of text neck.
Prevention is key. So, take frequent breaks: A “text neck” is a repetitive stress injury – it can be easily prevented by taking breaks from your mobile device every 15 minutes. Looking up and bringing the neck back into the neutral position. Alternatively, hold your mobile device higher so that it’s aligned with your eyes and your neck muscles and not under so much stress.
Chiropractic adjustments can help the alignment and mobility of spine relieving pain and headaches.
Exercises like yoga and Pilates are often recommended, which focus your attention on attaining the right posture. You will become more aware of the way you use your mobile devices in this way.