‘Text neck’ is a repetitive stress injury to the neck caused by looking down at a smartphone, tablet or computer for an extended period of time. Virtually unheard-of a few years ago, text neck can lead to early degeneration, muscle imbalances, spasms, facet osteoarthrosis, loss of the natural curve in the cervical spine and neurological symptoms such as pain radiating into the arms or hands.
The injury is becoming more common as younger generations spend more time hunched over electronic devices. Whereas we typically see this pain increase with age, muscular pain in the neck, shoulders and lower back is occurring even in teens and adolescents.
Text neck joins the list of repetitive strain injuries caused by mobile technology, such as ‘Blackberry thumb’ and ‘iPad hand’, which when left untreated, can hold severe consequences for our health.
How can using a smartphone cause this much damage?
How we look at our devices, literally, is the root of our text neck epidemic. On average, the human head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds, but as we angle them down to look at our phones, the weight on our neck increases considerably.
In dropping our heads forward, the natural curvatures of our necks are changed. This misalignment strains our muscles over time, damaging the structures of our necks. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours a day with their heads and necks in this position, resulting in thousands of hours a year of excess stress to our spines.
The damage caused by text neck expands beyond muscle pain, however, as general slumping restricts our lungs’ ability to expand. This impairs our lung capacity, which means we inhale less oxygen, so our hearts need to pump harder.
How can a chiropractor help with text neck?
If you are suffering from text neck and do not seek treatment, your muscle pain will increase, you will start to develop a hunched appearance as your shoulders begin rounding forward, your posture will get worse and your muscles will become weaker.
Chiropractors are the most qualified practitioners to stop text neck in its tracks. As text neck is caused by misalignment in the neck, a chiropractor skilled in vertebrae and spinal alignment would be highly beneficial.
Here at Canary Wharf Chiropractic, we will show you how far your text neck has progressed and identify the health problems it may be causing you. With a treatment plan in place to correct these problems and reverse text neck, your pain will shortly decrease.
If your neck and back remain regularly aligned by chiropractic care, a lot of the problems associated with neck pain will never present themselves.