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A Text Neck Message

Are you a victim of text neck?

Are you a victim of text neck?

I had a 14-year old come into the office the other day who said, “My neck’s been hurting when I’m on my phone. “ I immediately thought to myself, “Aha! Text neck.” There, I’ve said it; it’s now out in the open: text neck is real.

Neck and Shoulder Stress

The average human in the United States spends 2.7 hours per day communicating or socializing on the phone. The majority of that time, most people are in a non-optimal posture: instead of their head being correctly aligned with the top of their shoulders, it’s instead bent forward at a 90-degree angle. A tremendous amount of stress begins to build up in the neck and shoulders, resulting in the newly emerging condition, text neck.

Unfortunately, text neck encourages unpleasant side effects due to the cumulative damage that occurs in the cervical spine:

  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms
  • Shoulder pain

Even children and toddlers are getting into the act. When Mom and Dad are busy, many kids are handed the family cell phone to amuse themselves with, sometimes for an hour or more. Can you imagine the neck of today’s three-year-old in 20 years or so?

Why Is Text Neck so Damaging?

Our devotion to our phones creates a condition called forward head posture. This posture is where the head begins to be positioned in front of the shoulders, and the excessive weight of our craniums continues to increase.

For every inch that your head moves forward, the relative weight of the head increases by 10 pounds! Now muscles in the back of the head and the shoulders are forced to be two to three times tighter just to be able to hold the head up. Do you see where I’m going with this?

Add misalignment to the mix and you may experience:

  • Premature arthritis
  • Degeneration and damage that can’t be undone

How Can I Avoid Text Neck?

Follow these four suggestions, and you shouldn’t be a victim of your phone:

  • Hold the phone at least at eye level, so that your head isn’t tilting forward.
  • Take frequent breaks to self-correct your posture.
  • Practice consistent exercise and stretching protocols for the neck, particular extension. Ask us about the specific exercises that you can do for maximum results.
  • Get adjusted regularly to maintain the curve of your neck in its optimal position.

Love your phone, but love your neck more. Phones are replaceable, but your neck isn’t!

 

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