We love our smartphones! And even more than that, we depend on them—for most people, they’re in constant use each day. But looking at phones, tablets, e-readers, etc. takes a toll on our posture. What effect does this have on our health?
Take a look around you anywhere—at a doctor’s office, a restaurant, a bus stop, or at work. You’ll see many—even most—people looking down at their phones. Notice their posture, too. If it looks pretty uncomfortable, you’ll start to get a picture of how we get Text Neck.
What Causes Text Neck?
You head weighs about 12 to 15 pounds. You’re able to balance that weight on your spine, but when you look down for an extended period of time, the muscles of your neck and upper back are overworked.
Twenty minutes texting, half an hour on Facebook, looking down to read: It all adds up. If you use a computer, this may add to the strain. The results can be serious, including:
- Upper back pain, chronic or acute
- Shoulder pain and tightness
- Pinched cervical nerves, possibly radiating pain to the arm and hand
- Possible arthritis
Can We Prevent Text Neck?
Prevention is key to solving text neck problems. Try these preventive measures to reduce the causes of text neck:
- Hold your phone at eye level. It takes a little getting used to, but once you get in the habit of holding your phone or tablet up, you will notice you’re more comfortable.
- If you work at a computer, make sure it’s set up so the screen is at eye level. That will keep your head resting comfortably on your spine.
- Take frequent breaks. Limit the time you spend looking at your phone. You can change screen time to chunks rather than frequent short bursts, and you’ll probably be happier.
- Pay attention to your posture. Is your neck comfortable while driving? Are you sitting up straight to watch TV? Can you read on your stomach or back sometimes, rather than upright and looking down?
- Turn the phone off and look at people. Your family and friends will love all the extra attention.
How to Repair Text Neck
Chiropractic care can be a real boost when recovering from text neck. Chiropractic can correct misalignments, set you back on the path to good posture, and relieve muscle pain associated with text neck.
Target your core muscles in your exercise program to strengthen your abdominal and lower back muscles and help support your upper body, including your neck. Ask your chiropractor what exercises will be best for you.
Ask your chiropractor to recommend neck stretches, too. You want strong, flexible muscles to reduce strain on your cervical spine and help support the weight of your head.
It’s best to ask for professional help in designing an exercise program to help with Text Neck. That way you won’t add stress through exercises that are too difficult or that overuse adjacent muscle groups.
If you’re experiencing Text Neck, give King Chiropractic a call at (910) 777-7228. We’ll help devise a program to ease your pain and relieve fatigue, so you can get back to doing all the things you want to do. Things are looking up!