If you are tired of seeing your child, spouse or co-worker constantly slouched over texting or using an iPad or Smart Phone, imagine what all this slouching is doing to their necks and upper shoulders.
With advancements in technology and a world that continually demands instant responses to messages, inquiries, and more, a new “syndrome” is creeping in to our society; it is known as Text Neck or Text Neck Syndrome.
Chiropractors all across the nation are reporting an increase number of teens complaining about headaches, sore necks or upper back pain. As the use of mobile devices and hand held music players rises, so are the cases of ’text neck.’ People are constantly leaning forward to see the screen of their device, which puts additional stress on their backs and necks and can result in injuries to those muscles. According to a recent study, for every inch the head is shifted forward, the weight and demand on the spine increases by 10 pounds of extra pressure. That is like wearing a truck tire around your neck.
And the problem will only get worse. Routine texting puts strain on muscles, joints, and ligaments of the neck and if left untreated can lead to irreversible arthritic degeneration.
While there is no substitute for seeking the help of a qualified chiropractor in your area, there are a few things that you can do avoid Text Neck Syndrome.
The first is simple and that is to limit the use of mobile devices. Leave the long messages until you get home and can use a computer in a sitting position or pick up the phone and call the messenger.
Another tip is to change your posture while using mobile devices; rather than leaning over to read and text, sit up straight with your chest out and shoulders back. If you need to read the screen of one of these hand held devices, hold it in front of you and tuck your chin in, leaving your back straight – as if you were holding something between your chin and neck.
There are a number of stretching exercises that can counter the effects of Text Neck Syndrome. Consult a physical therapist or chiropractor for treatment and for goodness sake, listen to your mother when she says “Sit up straight.”