What is Text Neck?
The technological advance in the past decade gives us quick access to information, and it’s given people the chance to stay connected throughout every life moment. People are spending most of their time in front of the computer, laptop, tablets, mobile phones, or any gadgets available, resulting in the neck’s pain or strain called Text Neck or forward head posture.
When we use our gadgets, specifically our cellphones, we tend to lean forward and stay in that position for a prolonged period. This poor posture with the head in the down position causes irritation and damage to the cervical spine (neck) and upper thoracic spine (upper back). Muscles and ligaments of the neck and upper back as well as the joints of the spine are all vulnerable, resulting in pain and stiffness. Even the nerves exiting the spine in the neck and upper back areas can become irritated, resulting in local or radiating pain into the arms. It can also cause muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated disks, and over time can even remove the neck’s natural curve. Over time, there could be significant consequences.
The human head weighs roughly a dozen pounds, your spine is more than capable of supporting but, as you lean your head forward everything changes. Change in the angle of the neck puts more strain on your spine. This can add significant weight stressing your spine. The additional weight and strain is commonly known as Text Neck and can cause strain and misalignment in your vertebrae.
How Can Chiropractic Treat Text Neck?
Chiropractic care provides natural and non-invasive treatment methods to help you find relief. At Forward Health, Dr. McAllister will first assess your pain by completing a physical and medical history examination to determine a diagnosis and provide you with a personalized treatment plan to not only provide neck pain relief, but also prevent future injuries and restore your functionality. We utilize a number of safe and natural treatments focused on restoring motion and balance back to the spine and supporting soft tissues.
The first step is raising all devices so they’re at eye level and avoid looking down for extended periods of time where your chin is approaching your chest. We know it’s difficult to limit your time on electronic devices, our suggestion is you can take frequent breaks and change your position or posture often. If you’re at the point where you are noticing pain and stiffness during or after use, we are here to help.
You know that you have text neck if you feel the following:
- Neck pain, shoulder pain or tightness,
- Tender or sore neck
- Muscle spasm in the upper back
- Pinched nerve
- Reduced mobility or difficulty moving your neck
- Nagging back pain
- Numbness on the fingers and hands,
If your work requires you to stay in front of the computer or your phone, chiropractic treatment helps alleviate the aches and discomforts you are suffering. Prevent this situation from happening in the future by doing the following tips.
1. Design an Ergonomic Workstation
When you must use a computer, laptop, or phone during your work hours, make sure that the device is at your eye level to avoid leaning forward to read the screen. Allow your arms and elbows to be in a relaxed position, mainly if you have to type on the keyboard or use the mouse.
Your position when sitting down or standing up plays a significant role in preventing text neck from happening. Being aware of your proper posture is vital when you need to stand or sit while doing a task. Make sure that your spine is straight while working in front of the computer, and if you need to rest your back, avoid slumping.
3. Take a Break
No matter how busy you are taking breaks in between and look away from the device to refresh your eyes and your body. Stand up, stretch, or take a walk for a while to stretch your muscles.
4. Try these Exercises for Text Neck:
- Chin Tuck. Chin tuck is an easy stretch that you can do in between your work. This exercise aims to strengthen the awareness of the spine while making the neck muscles strong and assist in pulling back the head into alignment.
- Exaggerated Nod. The exaggerated nod rectifies the forward or downward position of the head and enhances mobility when you pull your shoulders down and back.
If you believe you might be suffering from text neck or would like to know more call us.