The Text Neck struggle is real. The consistent motion of tilting your head down and holding it for long periods of time, countless times a day, can contribute to what researchers are now calling “Text Neck.” Studies show smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day reading e-mails, sending texts, or surfing the internet. These numbers are often higher with adolescents and teens.
Why is looking down causing some people more pain than others? It is due to a combination of time spent on the device per day and the position in which the device is held when texting. The lower the device is in proportion to the center of the torso, the more stress is placed on the cervical spine. This is because the average human head weighs between 8-12 pounds, and as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine increases. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds; at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds; at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds; and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds.
Symptoms of text neck include muscle pain and inflammation, pinched nerves, herniated discs, and even possible removal of the neck’s natural curve, all similar to the symptoms of poor posture.
If you are a heavy texter and rest your device in your lap while texting, chances are you are experiencing neck pain. Most of us cannot avoid using a device on a daily basis, but there are ways to decrease the amount of pressure that looking down adds to the spine:
- Hold the device higher in proportion to your torso.
- Look down with your eyes and avoid tilting your neck.
- Try to strengthen the muscles in the neck with neck exercises.
- Get a massage.
- See a chiropractor for regular adjustments.
Dr. Jen, Dr. Saira, and the team at Family Chiropractic are happy to provide you and your family with adjustments to help alleviate the symptoms of “Text Neck.” VIsit http://www.bettfamilychiropractic.com/ or call (615) 373-7009 today to make an appointment and start enjoying a healthy, pain-free life.