Once upon a time, posture was an everyday regimen supported by your elders. Sit up straight, hold your head high – statements heard by many of the day. Today, the digital devices we use promote the opposite – welcome to the era of the ‘Text Neck’.
Think about walking and driving around on a normal day. The number of arched backs and crooked necks is astounding as people move about looking downward. Then again you may not notice this, as you move about looking downward.
The main culprit, brought to us by the digital age, is the entangling endeavor called ‘texting’. Texting is the main thrust to the mobile act of looking downward. Of no surprise, accompanying these new activities is a new ailment, ‘text neck’. First described by chiropractor Dr. D. L. Fishman, ‘text neck’ is neck pain caused by repeated stress from texting – hunched back, crooked neck, poor posture. Text neck is caused by interacting using social media with a mobile hand-held device.
A 2016 study by Ofcom, an independent UK company appointed by the Parliament to regulate communications services, found the 87% of teenagers (14-18 years) in USA and 79% teenagers (12-15 years) in UK own and use smartphones. “Neck pain and back pain are by far our biggest draws, I think, just because usually people associate that with chiropractic,” said chiropractor Jennifer Slechter.”My lower back is always the number one.” Slechter sees numerous patients each day who show signs of “text neck.” “From an incredible early age, we are hooked into technology,” said Slechter.
This result of spending an abnormal amount of time sitting hunched over an electronic device can be prevented, or at least ameliorated. Try the following recommendations given on the web site Physio-pedia.com:
- Avoid excessive usage – take frequent breaks.
- Avoid prolonged static posture – take frequent breaks and move about.
- Position the device to avoid physical stress – life up the device and avoid sitting hunched over it.
- Avoid high repetition movements like texting and swiping.
- Avoid holding your device in one hand for long periods of time.
- Integrate talking on the phone vs. texting.
Physiopedia also advocates using the following techniques to relieve ‘texting pain’:
- Regular neck movements: rotations and side bending.
- Exercise neck and trunk muscle: one valuable neck exercise is the chin tuck.
- Reduce swelling and pain by using ice packs.
- Get a massage.
- Try acupuncture.
Use these recommendations to prevent injury and relieve discomfort. Chronic habits often result in chronic injury only relieved by changing your lifestyle.