What is Text Neck and Why is it an Epidemic?
What is Text Neck?
With the evolution of technology and the reliability on our smartphones, a growing concern in the medical field is called “Text Neck Syndrome.” This is the onslaught of pain in the cervical spine, which is the upper back and the neck area, from staring down for long periods of time. This damage can be sustained from texting, reading, or typing on a computer, among other sources.
By the Numbers
Almost 80 percent of the population between the ages of 18 and 44 rely heavily on cellphones, with the average person scrolling for 2 hours or more each day. On average, people under 30 send about 3,000 texts per month. This can put a strain on our necks since our heads weigh about 10 to 12 pounds. The good news is that there are various simple ways to prevent and cure this newfound epidemic.
Care & Prevention
The first thing that will help with text neck is to change your posture. Anyone suffering from pain in the upper portions of the back can hold the electronic at eye level or adjust the computer screen so there’s less strain on the neck.
The first exercise is a simple chin tuck. Take your chin, and push it backwards – not down to your chest, but back into your jaw. Put your finger on your chin as a starting point, and pull your chin back. Hold for 3-5 seconds, relax, and repeat 3-5 times.
Next, open up the chest area with a scapular squeeze. Imagine someone has their hand on your spine in the middle of your back. Squeeze your shoulder blades back towards your spine, toward the imaginary hand, and hold for 3-5 seconds. Relax and repeat up to 10 times.
Then try a chin tuck lying down. Roll up a towel and lay down with the towel in the curve of your neck. Push down towards the floor and hold for 3-5 seconds. Relax and repeat 3-5 times.
Finally, grab a pillow and turn over onto your stomach. Place the pillow at your stomach and chest area. Put your hands on your lower back and keep your neck in a neutral position. Using your back muscles, lift your upper body up off the floor and hold it for about 1-2 seconds. Relax and come back to neutral, repeating up to 10 times.
If the pain becomes severe, it might be beneficial to seek chiropractic care to ensure proper alignment. You can combat “text neck” and prevent neck and upper back pain from hindering everyday life by countering the activity with stretches and proper chiropractic care.