Mobile devices, such as phones, tablets and laptops have changed our lives, mostly for the better. They allow us to be reachable at the press of a button and give us access to a wealth of knowledge right at our fingertips. But like most things in life they do come with a downfall. One large problem with our increased use of technology is a phenomenon called text neck. Here are 5 things you should know about it:
- Text neck is caused by poor posture
Specifically the poor posture is from constantly looking down at a phone or laptop. This sustained posture puts extra stress on the cervical spine causing wear and tear and eventually degeneration in some of the structures. Over time what we see is the reversal of the cervical curve which puts a large amount of pressure on these structures and reduced the function within the neck. Additionally, it also affects the cluster of nerves that come out of your neck which can further lead to pain and dysfunction.
- Text neck is becoming more and more common in young people
The youth of today are constantly glued to their phone or computer whether that be to text friends, scroll through social media, do school work or play games. Spending as little as 2-4 hours a day hunched over a phone is enough to have serious impact on the neck structures. Although 2-4 hours may seem a lot of time to spend on ones phone , it isn’t unreasonable when you add up the 15 minutes or half an hour segments through a day. Teenagers are specifically at risk of this as mobile phones are such a huge part of their daily interactions and this poses a huge risk as it increases the chance of early degeneration within the neck.
- Text neck along with a sedentary lifestyle is going to cause big problems
When looking at phone or laptop it is usually done sitting down or laying on the couch or worse, in bed. Therefore at the same time we aren’t being active. Poor posture is made worse by a sedentary lifestyle as we aren’t allowing muscles and other structures to strengthen and stretch, aka do what they are designed to do. The best thing to do is put down the phone and do some physical activity even if that is just a walk.
- Text neck can be corrected
Practicing good posture is the first step to improving our text neck but that can be hard to do when you haven’t been fully assessed and know where your posture is not so great. Therefore booking in with a chiropractor is an even better place to start. They will do a full examination and can even take x-rays to see what condition you are in. From there they can help get your neck functioning to its best ability. Improving your posture and function can help save you money and pain in the long run.
- Text neck can be avoided
Now don’t fret, we aren’t going to tell you to stop using phones and laptops! However a few simple strategies can help you fend off a text neck. Holding your phone up to your eyes instead of looking down is a great way to help your posture as well as making sure your work desk is ergonomically set. Checking in with your chiropractor on a regular basis will help keep things moving well and they can help by prescribing exercises to keep everything as it should be.
Text neck is nothing to laugh about and should be taken seriously, especially in our children and teenagers. Preventing this early on will ensure optimal spinal health and function and save them from the possibility of pain and poor health. Let us know how we can help by giving us a call or sending us an email.