3 Tips for Dealing With Text Neck
The odds are great that you’re reading this post right now from your smartphone or tablet. Research shows that the average American adult will spend 3 hours and 43 minutes each day on a mobile device, making today’s technology a real pain in the neck — literally.
Maybe you’ve heard of “Text Neck” or “Tech Neck” — a term that refers to pain and stress in our necks that comes from prolonged and repeated hunching over to use mobile devices.
Text Neck is very real and is a legitimate health concern as our society becomes more and more dependent upon digital devices. This condition can contribute to neck and back pain and soreness, shoulder pain, pinched nerves, early onset of arthritis, and more. It’s also been linked to headaches, neurological issues, depression, and heart disease.
And that’s not all. A BBC report last year found that bone spurs were increasingly being formed on the base of humans’ skulls. These growths resemble horns and are created from the pressure on the neck and spine as a person looks down to use a smartphone or tablet.
What can help alleviate Text Neck and prevent this?
We have 3 helpful tips for dealing with Text Neck… since mobile devices have become integral tools for daily living. Here’s how to use your smartphone and tablet and keep your neck and spine healthy and pain-free.
Part of the problem that causes Text Neck is staying in one position for a very long time. You pick up your phone to look at Instagram for just a few minutes, and before you know it, 30 have passed!
Take regular breaks from your mobile devices and stretch! Roll your head from side to side and back to front. Hunch and lower your shoulders, and look over each shoulder, turning your neck gently.
Set an alarm if you’re tempted to stay in one position for a long time engaged in the same activity, so you’re getting away from a screen to stretch at least every couple of hours.
2. Raise your phone or tablet
Don’t keep hunching forward to see your device’s screen. It is this position that stresses your cervical spine because of the weight of your head. The farther you bend forward, the more stress on your neck.
In fact, with the head weighing about 10 pounds, when you’re hunched over looking at your phone, the stress to your spine now registers 50 pounds. That’s like having 5 medium-sized bowling balls pulling on your neck! Think about the damage caused if you’re like the average American and are hunched over for almost 4 hours every day!
Lift the screen you’re using to eye level and bend less.
3. Put down your mobile device
Are you aware of how much and how often you use your phone or tablet? There are many great options for apps that monitor your screen time and help you set limits.
Making a conscious effort to put your device down will have a positive impact on your neck and spine. Become intentional about knowing how much you’re looking at your device and then take steps to lessen your screen time.
When you do, you’re improving your health and overall wellbeing.
Are you suffering from Text Neck or other pain in your neck, back, or shoulders? We can help! Contact us today to schedule a chiropractic session with Dr. Susan Knight.