Today’s society has relied upon text messaging, social media, and other applications via mobile devices to communicate for years, but recent research has shown that the increase in the use of technology could in fact be a major cause of neck pain. With proper posture, the human head weighs anywhere between 10-12 lbs. When sending a text or using a handheld electronic device, your head goes into a downward-looking position, known as forward flexion, which increases the load on your neck.
Research done by Dr. Kenneth Hansraj has shown that even the smallest amount of forward flexion causes tension on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the neck and shoulders. Considering smartphone users spend an average of 2-4 hours per day looking down on their mobile devices, it’s not a surprise that we have this new dysfunction called “text neck”.
Text neck is a repetitive motion injury that is caused by the constant hunched over position people find themselves in while using their mobile devices. If left untreated, it can lead to spinal degeneration, muscle tightness/pain, and even numbness and tingling down into the arm. Headaches as well as decreased lung capacity have even been linked to this common dysfunction.
In order to stop text neck from progressing, it is important to be conscious of your posture. There is no avoiding the forward flexion position completely, but research shows that decreasing the angle of your neck by raising the phone to eye level can help to greatly reduce the likelihood of progression.
Here are 4 additional tips to avoid pain caused by Text Neck:
- Bring your phone up to eye level to avoid bending your neck.
- Schedule out neck and shoulder rolls everything 30-minutes throughout the day. These breaks should take no longer than 5 minutes.
- Make sure the top of your computer screen is at eye level. Having the computer screen set too low at our desks can cause just as much harm.
- Practice Yoga! The practice of Yoga is extremely centered around proper posture.
If you feel that you are actively trying items 1-4 and are still suffering from neck pain and/or headaches, call our office at (305) 507-5220 or email email@example.com. We offer many modalities that can naturally relieve Text Neck.