Sit up straight! Don’t slouch! Parents nag their kids all the time about bad posture but funnily enough, they are just as bad! I can’t tell you the amount of times I have come out of my office at the clinic, only to see three of my patients slumped over looking down at their phones, texting, tweeting, facebooking or surfing the net. Many of them have come to the clinic to address neck pain, yet none seem to realize that their cellphones are part of the problem!
Sure, our mobile devices keep us connected, entertained, and safer than ever before. But, with all the advantages we gain from mobile technology comes the risk of serious and permanent health problems.
Is Text Neck Causing You Neck Pain?
Ever heard of ‘text-neck’? Today, widespread use of smartphones, blackberries and tablets has caused an epidemic of Anterior Head Syndrome, or loss of cervical structure. In a prolonged period of time, this may be the cause of many health issues such as frequent headaches, neck strain, and even reduced blood flow to the brain. Not good!
So, what is the big deal? The cervical spine supports the weight of the head, which generally speaking weighs between ten to fourteen pounds – about the same as a large bowling ball. Now, imagine holding a bowling ball in one hand and extending your arm outwards. Your arm could only remain straight for so long, eventually your muscles would give out and you’d drop the ball. Generally speaking, the same is happening with our neck muscles.
When the spine is in its proper structure, the weight of the head is carried directly above the center of gravity, preventing it from pulling on the rest of the spinal column. However, when the head is held in a forward position (like when texting) stress is put on the neck and the rest of the spine. This can result in neck pain, and a slew of other problems like:
- Flattening of the Spinal Curve
- Onset of Early Arthritis
- Spinal Degeneration
- Spinal Misalignment
- Disc Herniation
- Disc Compression
- Muscle Damage
- Nerve Damage
- Loss of Lung
- Volume Capacity
- Gastrointestinal Problems
And if that was not enough, you also place stress on the nerves coming out of your spine, which power up every cell, tissue and organ in your body. Kind of important wouldn’t you say!? Text-neck can even contribute to health issues like: headaches, allergies, asthma, heart burns, constipation, menstrual cramps and the list goes on.
Text Neck Solutions
- Put the phone down. Yes, try to limit your mobile phone use. Use for important stuff and not just to kill time. If you have to use your phone sit straight – shoulders back and bring the phone up to your eyes level so you don’t have to look down. You may look a little silly, but it will do wonders for your neck!
- Get your spine checked regularly by your chiropractor. We use our body 24/7: sitting, sleeping, playing sports, working, everything! All these activities put stress on our spine and nervous system and if left unchecked can lead to not only pain but other health issues. In most cases your neck problems can be addressed by a chiropractor. If you would like to be assessed by a Sante Chiropractic and Wellness Centre chiropractor click here.
- And lastly, move! Most people work at a desk all day, which can contribute to neck pain in and out of itself. Make sure you schedule time to get up and move. Use a standing desk if you can, go for walks during your breaks, and suggest walking meetings. Make sure you exercise regularly and add on some yoga for core, balance and flexibility.
To summarize, mobile technology is amazing but may be the cause of your neck pain. If you think you are suffering from “text neck” book an appointment with your chiropractor today!