What is Text Neck?
Today’s society has relied upon text messaging, social media, and other applications via mobile devices to communicate for years, but recent research has shown that the increase in the use of technology could in fact be a major cause of neck pain. With proper posture, the human head weighs anywhere between 10-12lbs. When sending a text or using a handheld electronic device, your head goes into a downward-looking position, known as forward flexion, which increases the load on your neck.
Research done by Dr. Kenneth Hansraj has shown that even the smallest amount of forward flexion causes tension on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the neck and shoulders. Considering smartphone users spend an average of 2-4 hours per day looking down on their mobile devices, it’s not a surprise that we have this new dysfunction called “text neck.”
Text neck is a repetitive motion injury that is caused by the constant hunched over position people find themselves in while using their mobile devices. If left untreated, it can lead to spinal degeneration, muscle tightness/pain, and even numbness and tingling down into the arm. Headaches as well as decreased lung capacity have even been linked to this common dysfunction.
In order to stop text neck from progressing, it is important to be conscious of your posture. There is no avoiding the forward flexion position completely, but research shows that decreasing the angle of your neck by raising the phone to eye level can help to greatly reduce the likelihood of progression.
Stretching, massage, and even chiropractic care has been proven to help relieve symptoms and restore proper posture in patients suffering from text neck. If you feel your neck pain may be caused from poor posture due to cell phone use, feel free to stop in for help.