Text Neck: The Modern Spine Ailment
Can you go a few minutes without looking down at your phone? Don’t worry most Americans can’t either. Which is why an increasingly common health problem is developing. Diagnosis: TEXT NECK
Chiropractor Dr. Steven Shoshany describes text neck as the damage sustained from looking down at your cell phone or other wireless devices repeatedly for too long. “Tilting the head forward, as is typically done to view and create text messages, forces the neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments to strain to hold the head up,” says spine surgeon Dr. DeWitt.
Text neck usually causes soreness and general pain in the neck. But, when looking down at your phone too often other symptom like severe upper back muscle spasm, shoulder pain, shoulder spasms, and if a cervical nerve is pinched, pain can circulate down your arms and into your hands, says Dr. Shoshany. Dr. DeWitt adds, that the posture we use in texting can lead to arthritic changes to the spine and muscle deformity. Teenagers are among the most frequent text message users and since their bodies are still growing and developing, text neck could have permanent damage to their cervical spine. So what can we do to prevent text neck and lifelong damage to our bodies?
4 Tips to Relieve Text Neck
1. Raise the phone: Move the cell phone (and other devices) to eye level so the head doesn’t have to be tilted.
2. Take frequent breaks: Spend some time away from the phone—or any type of head-forward posture. Change positions when texting—lying on one’s back is an excellent way to relieve pressure on the neck.
3. Stand up straight: Good posture, with the shoulders pulled back, keeps the body aligned in a neutral position.
4. Arch and stretch: Arch the neck and upper back backward periodically to ease muscle pain.