We’re a tech-obsessed society. Walking down the street, in restaurants and coffee shops, at the boardroom table and even at the gym, people everywhere have their noggins bent over their mobile devices.
And those noggins are heavy, weighing in at between 10 and 13 pounds. That’s a lot of stress on your cervical (upper) vertebrae. So, today we have managed to create a whole new category of neck pain, known as “text neck” or “tech neck”.
This post is about how to avoid text neck overuse syndrome. Taking these tips to heart can help you avoid the pain of text neck so you won’t need to come and see me.
Stuff you need to know
Your head’s natural position is centered atop your neck and in line with the rest of your spine. Every inclination of an inch exponentially increases the pressure on those upper vertebrae. And when you’re looking down at your mobile device, your placing tremendous pressure on them.
The position of the head when you’re doing this is usually about a 5-inch inclination. Think about it. Most of us spend 2 – 4 hours texting, every day. The results of this unnatural posture aren’t pretty, ranging from herniated discs and pinched nerves to strains and sometimes require surgery.
Have I got your attention? Read on.
Symptoms and prevention
If you’re experiencing tension headaches regularly, accompanied by neck and shoulder pain, then you likely have text neck. Watch the kids on their mobiles, too. Text neck can lead to curvature of the spine and they’re especially vulnerable, as their bodies are growing.
So, what’s the solution? Let’s find out.
Hold your phone up to your face. Instead of bowing your head to look at it, hold it up in front of you and move your eyes to read. Does this sound like more of an effort? Perhaps, but if you have text neck, everything you do will be more of an effort, so hold up your phone.
Stretch your neck at regular intervals. Look to one side, then the other, up, then down and rotate your head to release tension.
Check your posture. If you’re not aware of the way you’re standing and sitting you’re making yourself more vulnerable to text neck. Straighten up. Stop slouching. Do I sound like your mom? Good. She’s right.
Put that mobile down. There. I said it. Our society has become so fixated on the ease of communication offered by mobile culture that we’re undermining our enjoyment of life. Keep texting to a minimum. Only text when you need to. Nobody’s really interested in what you ate for lunch, anyways, right?
Here’s a statistic that’ll interest you – people under the age of 30 send, an average 3,000 texts per month. If that strikes you as excessive, then think about your own usage. Track it and see if maybe you could benefit from putting your mobile down. Imagine talking to the people you’re eating dinner with. What a novelty!
Got text neck? Contact me. I’ll straighten you out.