Text Neck, or Tech Neck, is the term used to describe the neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at your mobile phone, tablet, or other wireless devices too frequently and for too long.
Using a mobile device too often can lead to poor posture and symptoms of text neck. These symptoms may include neck pain, shoulder tension, headaches, and migraines just to name a few.
Let’s revisit normal neck posture. When you look at the neck from the side, we should see a natural C curve, backward. When you look at someone from in front or behind, the neck should be straight, with eyes level on the horizon. There are 7 neck vertebra, each separated by a spongy disc and held in place by strong ligaments. There are a group of muscles that help maintain and stabilize the neck, including the deep flexor muscles, the erector spinae, the trapezius, and the levator scapularis.
This normal neck posture is the most efficient and requires the least amount of energy or tension in the muscles to maintain and support it.
When we spend prolonged periods of time with our neck forwards, the important ligaments and muscles begin to strain and overwork.
What you can do to avoid Text Neck?
- Position your phone closer to your eye level rather than looking down.
- Stretch your neck and shoulders to relieve shoulder and neck tension.
- Get your work station or ergonomics checked.
- Get your spine and posture checked.
Here at CHIRO H3, we are well equipped to assess and address not only your symptoms but to create a long term strategy around improving your posture and neck function.
In some cases, we will X-ray your spine to see if the shape and posture of your neck have changed from normal. We also use surface EMG studies to check the muscles and see how hard they are working. Both these tests give us objective parameters that we can track over time to make sure they are improving and your posture is changing.
Our treatment often involves spinal correction, exercise prescription, postural retraining and breaking the bad habits that create text neck.
Next time your standing in line at the bus or waiting for your train, take a look at the number of people with their heads down! You’ll be astounded!