How You And Your Teens Can Avoid “Text Neck”
5 Things Chiropractic Patients Ought to Know About Text Neck Syndrome
Remember how your mom always said, “Nothing in life is free”? Well, she was right. High-tech handheld devices and smart phones advancing at the speed of light are a modern convenience unlike little else, but the advantages of communication at our fingertips come with a price: text neck syndrome.
Here are 5 things chiropractic patients ought to know about text neck, the chronic neck pain condition that is effecting millions across the globe.
1. Text neck syndrome is caused by poor head posture.
Habitually looking down at a phone or laptop puts upwards of 60 pounds of unwanted pressure on the cervical spine, causing repetitive stress, wear and tear, and even decay over time. Additionally, in the space between the neck and shoulder is a cluster of nerves. If these nerves are compressed, misaligned, or damaged, the neck pain is excruciating and difficult to treat. In short: Text neck puts the head, neck, and spine at risk.
2. Text neck is increasingly common among young people.
Spending as little as two to four hours a day hunched over a smart phone is enough to cause a serious stress injury on the body over a period of time. And though two to four hours may not seem like a long time, it isn’t hard to arrive at two hours by adding several 15-minute or half-hour segments together.
For teenagers, specifically, two to four hours on a smart phone is not unfathomable. Some teens likely spend twice that much time in a given afternoon or the space between classes or over lunch. Consider the impact of 1500+ hours of bad posture in a year. It is no surprise that teenagers are at risk. The lasting impact of text neck on today’s young people could be costly.
3. Text neck in combination with a sedentary lifestyle is a recipe for disaster.
With hours of looking down at a smart phone often come hours of relaxing on the couch or sitting still. Generally speaking, we aren’t prone to be active when we are engaged in surfing the Internet or texting our friends.
Though the list of ailments for poor posture is long and discouraging, it is made worse by sluggishness or inactivity. The best thing to do is to put the phone down on occasion, stretch, exercise, and return to the technology only once in a while. The benefits of technology do not outweigh the consequences of inactivity.
4. Text neck syndrome can be corrected.
Practicing good posture is the easiest place to start. Making an appointment with a chiropractor is a good move for anyone who is facing the painful side effects of hours spent looking down.
Taking small steps toward better posture can save money and pain in the long run.
Choosing to engage in technology as a treat instead of around the clock is a good practice for anyone who wants to live a long and healthy life.
5. Text neck can be avoided.
To be clear: No one is asking anyone to stop using cell phones. Text neck syndrome can be avoided without going 1980 on cell phone usage. But avoiding extra pressure on the neck and spine does require forethought and follow-through.
In today’s ever-increasing technological age, choosing to dodge smart phone usage doesn’t happen accidentally. One good strategy is to look with the eyes instead of moving the neck. This strategy prevents the neck from bending forward at least 45 degrees and allows the neck muscles to relax. Another strategy is to ask friends and family to say something when they notice prolonged periods of poor posture. Additionally if you feel pain in the neck as you move your head back up to a neutral position, it is time to stop.
In short, text neck syndrome is nothing to LOL about. If you or your teen feel pain in the neck as you move your head back up to a neutral position, it is time to stop. Take it seriously and make any necessary changes before text neck gets the best of you. Let us know how we can help by giving us a call today.
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