A recent study sponsored by Facebook shows that 79% of the population between the ages of 18 and 44 have their cell phones with them almost all the time—with only 2 hours of their waking day spent without their phone on hand. With over a billion people using smartphones, “text neck” is a 21stcentury term and a new phenomenon that is becoming a common household name.1 We need to be aware of text neck as a potential threat to our health.
“Text neck” is used to describe neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or other wireless devices too frequently and for too long. Children and teens are especially at risk for suffering symptoms of text neck.2 It seems the same technology that is positively shaping the world today has added the potential consequences of re-shaping our necks away from the spine’s natural design and alignment. Our spine is the foundation of every movement our body makes. It not only gives us shape, strength and motion, but also protects our nervous system, which coordinates every process within our body, from our heart beating to our lungs breathing, and even hormone release and utilization. Normally, the healthy forward curve of the neck acts as a “spring” protecting the integrity of the intervertebral discs which influences nerve spacing, function, and longevity. Without the defense system of the spinal curves, the joints are left weakened and exposed to the overloading effects of stress and gravity.
Over time, text neck may lead to poor posture. According to the research, poor posture may lead to tight and weakened muscles, extra wear and tear, inhibited organ function, tension headaches, neck pain, and altered emotional states. If you are suffering from text neck, follow the preventative recommendations below.
Here are some simple tips for avoiding the symptoms of text neck:
- Reduce the amount of time you spend texting and using social media on your smartphone. Use a computer that is ergonomically correct to offset time on your phone and reduce forward neck bending.
- When texting, raise your hands to eye level instead of looking down toward your lap.
- Alternatively, try laying on your back with your arms up and the screen at eye level, or on your stomach with arms up and the screen at eye level. This is better than looking down toward the floor.
- Consult your local Gonstead chiropractor. I highly recommend visiting a corrective care Gonstead chiropractor that evaluates your spine and symptoms. Specific and gentle adjustments may restore the alignment and function of your spinal joints to treat and prevent pain associated with text neck.
- Always Connected How Smartphones And Social Keep Us Engaged An IDC Research Report, Sponsored By Facebook
- A Modern Spine Ailment: Text Neck. Steven Shoshany, DC. Spine-health.com Nov. 6, 2015