Ever since the development of cell-phones, tablets, and e-readers, people are always looking down - checking their e-mails, reading, and browsing social media. This epidemic affects the millions who, unknowingly, spend hours with their backs hunched and their necks bent forward.
It may not seem like anything alarming - after all, most of our lives revolve around our smart-phones, so what's wrong with bending our neck frequently?
In fact, the more you bend your neck when you're texting or browsing Facebook, the more weight your neck and cervical spine have to support. When you turn your neck at least 15 degrees, there are about 27 extra pounds that need to be supported. 45 degrees increases the weight up to 49 lbs, and 60 degrees is equivalent to 60 lbs.
To put this into perspective, that's the same as carrying an 8-year-old around your neck. When the neck is aligned correctly, the head only weights about 10-12 lbs - a dramatic decrease from a bent neck. Smart-phone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts, or checking social media sites.
Some symptoms of "Text Neck"
Pain in the upper back and neck
Stiffness and knots in shoulders and neck
Eye strain from the pressure and Bluelight
Increased chances of a pinched nerve
Reduced lung capacity by 30%
Over time, "text neck" can lead to multiple issues such as degeneration of the spine, herniated disks, nerve pinches, and early onset of arthritis in the neck and spine. A strained neck can also lead to loss of curvature, which can onset frequent headaches and back pain.
How You Can Ease The Pain
Stretch, stretch, stretch!
This is the best and easiest way to help reset and relax your muscles. Tilt your head from side to side and rotate it slowly. This will loosen the muscles around your neck and shoulders, which should help with any existing knots and pain.
Put the phone down.
If possible, limit your screen time to when it is only necessary. Be mindful of how many times you pick up your smart-phone or devices. You may surprise yourself when you begin to track the amount of time you spend looking down.
Hold your phone higher
When we always look down, we often miss what is going on around us. Lifting your phone closer to eye level will not only help with decreasing the pressure on your neck, but you may also come across somethings you might've missed if you were looking straight down.
Take a break! If you need to be on your smart-phone, remind yourself to take a break every 20-30 minutes. Not only will this help reduce the pain but it will also give your eyes and brain a break from overworking.
ADVANCED REHAB & WELLNESS
At our wellness center in Clifton, NJ, we believe in providing a range of services such as massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture and cupping therapy to help improve your systemic health, well-being and enrich your day-to-day living - without medication! Dr. Fano's implementation of the spinal re-curve method, allows the cervical, thoracic and lumbar curves to restore in a short period of time by utilizing the re-curve chair, a full spine curve correction device that expedites the correction of headaches and neck pain.