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, the 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
- The 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, heartburn, constipation, menstrual cramps, and the list goes on.
Text Neck Solutions
- Be aware – Don’t use your phone if you don’t have too! There is now a way to monitor screen time on your phone. How many hours are you spending on your phone per day? Most people underestimate the time they spend on their phones. You may be surprised to learn that the average adult spends 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phone daily. Ultimately, the less time you spend on your phone, the healthier your body!
- Use at eye level. Instead of bending forward, bring your arms up so you are not straining your neck muscles.
- Exercise regularly to keep your musculature strong and functional!
- Get your spine checked regularly by your chiropractor. If your spine is not moving properly not only will you be sore and uncomfortable but that brain-body communication I was mentioning earlier will not be working optimally and will have long term effects on your health.
To summarize, mobile technology is amazing but maybe the cause of your neck pain. If you think you are suffering from “text neck” book an appointment with your chiropractor today!