How much time do you think you spend on your phone each day? According to TechCrunch, U.S. consumers now spend about five hours per day on mobile devices alone. Sure, we live in a world of instant gratification, but have you thought about the health impact of looking down at your phone for that amount of time? In this blog post, we will look at the impact of “text neck.”
What is Text Neck?
Spine Health defines text neck as the neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at electronic devices too frequently and for too long. What chiropractors today are finding is that young children could be at risk for permanent damage to their cervical spines that could lead to lifelong neck pain.
Text Neck Symptoms
In the majority of cases, text neck leads to neck pain and soreness. Keep in mind that looking down at your devices too much can lead to the following:
- Upper back pain – This can range from a chronic, nagging pain to sharp, severe upper back muscle spasms.
- Shoulder pain and tightness – Both may result in painful shoulder muscle spasms.
- Radiating pain – Should a cervical nerve become pinched, neurological symptoms and additional pain may shoot down your arm and into your hand.\
How to Prevent Text Neck
Considering how much time you spend on your phone each day, it’s reasonable to be legitimately concerned about text neck. That said, prevention is key. Here are some tips for keeping your spine healthy as you enjoy time on your electronic devices:
- Hold your phone at eye level as much as possible – It may seem uncomfortable and look weird at first, but this can make a world of difference. By holding your devices at eye level, you don’t have to bend your head forward or look down to view it. Try doing this with tablets and laptops as well.
- Take frequent breaks throughout the day – This may be a bit more challenging if you’re constantly on your phone for work. However, do your best to implement this tip if all you’re doing is scrolling through your social media feeds. You can even take it a step further by setting an alarm that reminds you to get up and about every 30 minutes or so.
- Position your device properly – It’s imperative to ensure that your computer screen is set so that when you look forward at it, your head is positioned squarely in line with your shoulders and spine. This is the proper posture you should have at work.
- Build your core – Believe it or not, you must have strong abdominal and lower back muscles to support your upper body, which includes your neck. So make it a point to get your core involved during your workout routine.
- Start exercising your neck – A lot of folks don’t even know that neck exercises exist. But you also need strong, flexible muscles to minimize strain on your cervical spine and help support the weight of your head. If you’re at all in doubt of the proper neck exercises, get in touch with an experienced chiropractor.
Do you think that you could be suffering from text neck? At Gateway Rehab & Wellness Center, chiropractic could be just what you need.