Have You Ever Heard of Text Neck?
Text Neck is a modern term that is used to describe the pain in the neck from watching or texting on a cell phone over a sustained period of time. This condition is a growing concern for chiropractors as they are seeing more and more patients suffering from it, including teenagers.
“The human head weighs on average between 10 and 12 pounds. When someone sits with proper posture with the head aligned with the body, about 10-12 pounds of pressure is supported by the spine. When your head is out in front of your body, like tilting it forward to read text messages on the phone, the force of pressure is increased to almost 60 pounds. That is almost 400% more pounds of pressure. This pressure is placed on structures that are not meant to take that amount of pressure for a sustained amount of time,” according to Dr. Toby Guillory, Jr., Chiropractor with LA Health Solutions
Today, teenagers spend a lot of time on their cellphones texting friends, posting on Instagram, adding to their stories on Snapchat, and posting dance videos on TikTok. Recent studies have shown that about 87% of teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18 in the United States use smartphones. 92% of Adults aged between 18 and 34 own a smartphone. Smartphone users spend more than two hours per day sending emails, texts and surfing the web on cell phones. This increased pressure on the neck for prolonged periods of time can damage the spine over time.
The symptoms of text neck can range from mild to severe and can include soreness or stiffness of the neck, upper back pain, muscle spasms, headaches, or should pain and tightness. In addition to these symptoms, there can also be early onset arthritis, disc compression, muscle weakness, loss of lung capacity, flattening of thoracic kyphosis, and spinal degeneration.
In order to prevent neck text pain, the best way is to simply spend less time on the phone. In addition, hold the phone at eye level to reduce the stress on the neck. Try to incorporate micro-breaks from the device. Stretch the neck daily and try to improve posture by sitting up straight. Consider doing exercises like yoga or palates. If the pain continues, see a licensed chiropractor or orthopedist.