Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Text Neck: Is Smartphone Use Causing Your Neck Pain?

Text Neck: Is Smartphone Use Causing Your Neck Pain?
Virtually unheard of two years ago, “text neck” is a repetitive strain injury that’s becoming more common as more people hunch over smartphones. Aggravating muscle pain in the neck and shoulders, and sometimes lower back, is occurring even in teens and adolescents.
How can using a smartphone or other mobile device cause so much hurt? It’s all in how you look at it. Literally. Looking down, dropping your head forward, changes the natural curvature of your neck. Over time, that misalignment can strain muscles and cause wear and tear on the structures of the neck.

Three things happen when you drop your head:
1. Your neck moves forward.
2. Your shoulders round forward or lift up toward your ears.
3. Your neck and shoulder muscles spasm (contract).
The hours that modern society spends in a flexed position continues to increase, with watching TV, computer use, driving and texting. We eat bent forward, drive in a flexed position, watch TV or movies in a cushioned chair that we sink into -
all pushing our spine into a flexed position. How often are we doing something in which we actually look up?

What can be done to correct these problems?
The great news is that many cases can be alleviated. A physical therapist can help. Correction involves changing the root cause of the symptoms, such as postural correction, chair change or changing driving position. This may also include stretching the chest and front of the neck, and strengthening of the upper back. Cervical traction may also help with disk-related symptoms. Soft tissue mobilization and stretches may help tight muscles relax. lt does take a lot of work to change long-term habits.

Three tricks to nix text neck
To nix text neck, improve your posture:
1. Straighten up. Learn proper posture and neck alignment by peeking at your profile in a mirror. If you’re standing correctly, you should be able to draw a vertical line from your ear to your shoulder.
2. Arch back. If your posture isn't perfect, try doing shoulder extensions. Arch your neck and upper back backward, pulling your shoulders into alignment under your ears. This simple stretch can alleviate stress and muscle pain.
3. Look forward. Rather than tilting your chin down to read your mobile device, raise the device to eye level. The same goes for your desktop computer. Your monitor screen should be at eye level so your head isn't perpetually dropping and causing muscle strain.



1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking some time to write this post. Here is another website with text neck help. Read more about text neck exercises here to learn more.