Have you ever heard the term “text neck”? Even if you’ve never heard of it, if you own a smartphone, you probably have it. Ever since everyone and their mother has owned a smartphone and is texting constantly, neck pain has been on the rise. Neck pain can be caused by looking down at your phone or iPad all the time – doesn’t matter if you’re texting, tweeting or Instagramming.
The typical head weighs around 10 to 12 pounds. Doctors say that for every inch you move your head forward, backward or side to side, it gains an extra 10 pounds! Think about this: if you look down at your phone 4 inches, your spine has to hold an extra 40 pounds instead of 10 to 12. No wonder our spines and necks are a mess! This damages the bones, muscles, ligaments and nerves. You could start to form bone spurs, get headaches, jaw pain and back problems. If left untreated, chronic issues could develop spinal degeneration, disc herniation/compression, nerve damage or arthritis.
So how do you heal and avoid further damage and pain in the future?
See a chiropractor and an acupuncturist for the best holistic treatments. A chiropractor will take x-rays and determine how much damage your neck and back has. They can then give you the best treatments for your specific issues. They may also recommend massage or supplements to further along your treatment. Acupuncture can also help by decreasing inflammation in your muscles and ligaments and help you start to heal.
Remember to not sit on your phone for long periods of time with your head down! This is crucial in avoiding “text neck”. Also remember to do some neck stretches from time to time throughout the day. You can simply move your head up and down and from side to side or look up other stretching exercises. Try setting a timer for when you use your phone to take breaks, timers throughout the day reminding you to stretch or use products that help with your posture. If you work on a computer all day and frequently get “text neck”, try a standing workstation or elevation your screen to eye level. Turn up the brightness or increase the text size to avoid leaning in to see the screen properly.
Try these tips and be mindful of your use of technology and its effects on your body.
Do you think you have “text neck”? Do you see a chiropractor or an acupuncturist? Share with us your tips on avoiding or healing “text neck”?