Updated: May 27
What is "Text Neck"?
"Text neck", also called "tech neck", is a general term for prolonged forward head posture. Forward head posture can lead to early spinal degeneration, joint damage, muscle tension, shoulder discomfort, headaches, etc.
What causes "Text Neck"?
Have you heard the term, "Sitting is the new smoking?"
We all live in a technology-driven world where cell phones, tablets, and computers are being used over +4 hours per day sitting in their cars or at their computers for some people.
That being said, sitting for prolonged periods of time may lead to abnormal postures or positions. Because of today's tech-savvy working environment, abnormal postures, including forward head postures, are becoming more prevalent. Whether it's sitting in a chair at work or in school, abnormal postures have been an epidemic for at least the past decade - maybe longer.
As a practicing upper cervical doctor, Dr. Kyle sees forward head postures every single day in his office. What is shocking to him is that a lot of teenagers have "text neck" when viewing their 3D spinal x-rays. Many times this is the contributing factor to their chief complaint or other health-related symptoms (headaches, migraines, shoulder tension, etc.)
Top 5 Tips to Avoid "Text Neck"
Learn the Top 5 Tips to Avoid "Text Neck" to keep your spine in align and to help avoid some health issues down the road.
TIP #1 - Raise the Phone Up. Move the phone (and other devices) up closer to eye level so the head does not have to be tilted forward for prolonged periods of time (anything over 30 minutes).
TIP #2 - Take Frequent Breaks. Spend some time away from the phone—or any type of head-forward posture. For every 30 minutes at the computer, take a short 5 minute break to change your posture and avoid being in a prolonged position. Try setting an alarm or app to set automatic reminders to take breaks from handheld devices at work. This can be a game changer.
TIP #3 - Stand Up or Sit Up Straight. Good posture, with the chin tucked in and shoulders pulled back, keeps the body aligned in a neutral position.
TIP #4 - Arch and Stretch. Arch the neck and upper back backward periodically to ease muscle pain.
TIP #5 - Regular Cervical Posture Exercises. Using a Cervical Traction Device or a Posture Pump can drastically reduce chances of developing "text neck" and the symptoms thereof. Adding one or both of these cervical products to your daily exercise routine will help decompress, re-shape & re-hydrate the joints & discs in the neck.
Why should I be concerned about developing "Text Neck?"
Text neck can lead to forward head posture which can cause a dysfunction in the spine and nervous system.
The nervous system controls all of the systems in the body. When the spine and nervous system become structurally and neurologically compromised due to "text neck," the body begins to degenerate at a faster rate. Sometimes organs, such as the heart, lungs, stomach, kidneys, etc.) can be affected due to abnormal postures in the spine.
According to Kapandji, (Physiology of the Joints, Volume III), "For every inch your head moves forward, it gains 10 pounds in weight, as far as the muscles in your upper back and neck are concerned, because they have to work that much harder to keep the head (chin) from dropping onto your chest."
Recap: Top 5 Tips to Avoid "Text Neck"
"Text neck" and abnormal postures, including forward head postures, are becoming more prevalent due our technology-drive world. Dr. Kyle sees "text neck" cases every day in practice at Owensboro Atlas Center.
Take frequent breaks at work or at school in between classes to change your abnormal posture.
"Text neck" can lead to abnormal postures which can cause a dysfunction in the spine and nervous system.
Every inch forward your head goes causes 10 lbs of pressure in the shoulders and upper traps.
Do you think you have "Text Neck?"
Talk with your upper cervical doctor today by calling our office number (270)925-1553 to schedule a 15 minute consultation. Dr. Kyle will sit down with you to discuss your health issues and any specific questions you have concerning your overall health. You will determine whether upper cervical chiropractic care is a right fit for your health goals.