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Text Neck: What Is It?

If you haven’t heard about text neck yet, you’d better get to learn it—in fact, you might be suffering from it!

Text neck is a condition that happens when you overuse your neck, back and shoulder muscles by keeping yourself in a hunched over position, typically the position that occurs when you spend a lot of time looking down and forward, such as you would when looking on a cell phone, computer or lap top.

When you keep yourself in this position, it can cause serious strain on the spine.

What Is Normal?

In a normal spine, the head should be directly over the spine. The center of your ear should line up directly with your shoulder.

When there is a shift in head position means that the muscles of your neck and your upper back will need to work harder to hold your head up. It can cause neck and back pain, and muscle fatigue.

Text Neck can cause daily pain and discomfort as well as life-long damage to your spine. While Text Neck is a serious issue, the good news is there are ways to help.

Important Facts About Text Neck

If left untreated, long-term forward neck posture can lead to disc herniation and pressure on nerves.

Other problems can include:

  • Changing the natural curve of your spine
  • Creating too much ‘pull’ on your neck
  • Added pressure—for every inch your neck leans, it adds 10 pounds of pressure!
  • Premature arthritis in young patients—it’s truly staggering
  • Joint degeneration in the neck
  • Emotional stress leading to decreased energy

Many people who suffer from text neck will start to feel pain, discomfort and tightness in their neck, shoulders and upper back. However, this condition also applies extra pressure to your nervous system, meaning it can lead to pain and discomfort all over the body and it can be causing issues in your arms and hands, in your low back and lead to headaches, and other serious health issues.

When you have abnormal posture, it is going to put a severe strain on your joints. Think about the wear pattern on your tires. If they are not aligned, what happens? They start to wear down. The same thing happens with your joints. If they are not in the right position, they’ll start to wear down.

Why Does This Happen?

Technology has been an incredible invention, but also a horrible thing to happen to a body.

The use of cell phones is skyrocketing — more than four billion worldwide, with 1.8 billion sold in 2015.

In fact, a study by Kaiser Family Foundation showed that young people between the ages of 8 – 18 years old spend 7 hours and 38 minutes with electronic media in an average day. That’s 53 hours each week!

Reducing Text Neck

Luckily, there are several ways you can reduce the negative effects of text neck, including:

  • Hold the device at eye level as this negates the need to crane your neck.
  • Use a phone or tablet holder so your arms and shoulders can relax.
  • Look down with your eyes and not your head.
  • Take a break for every 15 to 20 minutes spent on your device (you can set auto reminders for this). The more typing you do, the more frequent you should take breaks.
  • Be mindful of your posture. Your head should be in a neutral position, your wrists straight and your shoulders as relaxed as possible.
  • Use a cervical roller
  • After a shower, exercise your neck by tilting it from side to side, slowly.

Chiropractic for Text Neck

After low back pain, neck pain is the second most common reason people see a chiropractor. Chiropractic adjustments will help restore normal joint function and can reduce or eliminate muscular tension.

At Van Every Family Chiropractic Center, we have a posture app that can show you exactly how much your head weighs.

It will give us a great idea of the strain you are putting on your joints. It will show us if your head is even with your shoulders and if your hips are aligned.

We’d love to see you in our practice soon. We specialize in working with families. Our technique involves no cracking, popping or snapping– just a very gentle tapping that kids and adults love.

Call our office and tell them that you are ready to have your posture checked.

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