As technology progresses and the constant usage of cell phones and tablets becomes more and more common, so do cases of Text Neck. This term is used to describe neck pain caused by the frequent act of looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or other device.
While not specific to ‘texting’, the act of constantly looking down is becoming more and more common, especially among the younger generation, which is concerning as it can cause permanent cervical spine damage, leading to lifelong pain. The human head weighs approximately 12 pounds and as you lean forward that can put upwards of 60 pounds of pressure on your neck. The constant pressure can wreak havoc on your spine.
How to Prevent Text Neck
Here are a few simple tips to help you avoid text neck.
- Keep your phone, tablet, book or other device at eye level as much as possible to avoid strain on your neck and spine.
- Take frequent breaks when using your phone, tablet or other device to avoid looking down for prolonged periods of time.
- If you use a computer frequently, make sure your monitors are at eye level and square with your shoulders to avoid unnecessary strain on your neck.
- If you must look at papers or documents while typing, purchase a document holder so you do not have to constantly look down at the paper and the document can be at eye level.
Check out our post on Office Ergonomics for more tips that will help prevent neck and back pain.
Treatment of Text Neck
The key to treating text neck is by having strong, flexible muscles in the neck and core. Strong, flexible muscles are able to handle strain when needed, so use exercise or Physical Therapy to strengthen the muscles of your neck and your core muscles, along with the prevention techniques provided above and you’re on your way to being pain free.
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