“Text Neck” Syndrome Poses Many Health Hazards

Image of two teenagers hunched over their phones

In today’s digital world where advanced technology is so portable, more and more people are spending multiple hours each day using devices such as smart phones, tablet PCs, and e- readers. The unfortunate result when one bends over these electronic devices for extended periods of time is prolonged neck flexion, also known as “text neck.” This common condition may sound innocent enough, but take it from this Fullerton Chiropractor—text neck is affecting your health, and is most likely the cause of everyday neck pain for millions of people around the world.

Bending down or leaning over to check your cell phone and other electronic devices in an unnatural posture may cause discomfort and result in neck pain or headaches after a long period of time. This can also cause tightness in the shoulders, and patients may also experience soreness in their neck, hands, wrists, and upper or mid back.

All of these aches and pains happen simply because the more you stretch your neck out of alignment, the more weight it has to carry. When a person leans their head forward past its neutral position in which the shoulders and ears are aligned, the weight of the head puts uneven pressure on the bones of the neck. If this problem is not effectively treated, “text neck” can lead to inflammation of neck ligaments and muscles, and cause nerve irritation or even disc problems

A study done by Nottingham University found that we check our phones up to 85 times per day for an average total of 5 hours spent looking down. Even though checking your phone for a few minutes each doesn’t feel like much, it all adds up to potential neck problems.

As a Fullerton chiropractor close to a large public university, I see so many young people who are constantly craning their neck or bent over their electronic devices, even when doing simple daily tasks such as eating, walking, or waiting in line. Since looking down to check your phone may not always be avoidable, there are some things you can do to help minimize the negative effects of the “text neck” habit.

One of the simplest solutions is to practice holding devices up to eye level instead of bending your neck forward. Doing your best to be aware of proper posture and taking frequent breaks from curving forward and down with your shoulders can help minimize further neck pain as well. Neck stretches may also provide some “text neck” relief for people who must use devices on a daily basis for work.

Wall corner stretches for Text Neck Relief

  1. Stand about two feet away from the corner with your face turned to the wall angle.
  2. Place your feet together.
  3. Place forearms on both sides of the wall and elbows slightly below shoulder level.
  4. Now lean your body forward as much as you can without feeling any pain. You should feel a stretch across the chest and shoulders.
  5. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds to a minute.
  6. Repeat several times, or about 3 to 5 times a day.

Visiting an upper cervical chiropractor like Dr. Gershfeld is an excellent option to help re-align the neck bones so that it becomes easier to keep your head in the right position. If you are experiencing neck pain, headaches, muscle tension, or other pain because of text neck and need a chiropractor in Fullerton or Placentia to help you heal, give us a call today at (714) 986-9767!

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