‘Text Neck’ is a world-wide health concern, affecting millions of all ages and from all walks of life. Widespread overuse of handheld mobile technology is resulting in a harmful and dangerous physical condition on the human body, which is known as Text Neck.
Are you reading this article on your smartphone? Do have neck pains? Do you suffer from headaches? Given the current global usage of smartphones and bad posture, neck pain is on the rise. Many medical doctors and chiropractors have actually coined this phenomenon “text-neck”. Text-neck is the forward head posture causing increased stress in the cervical spine (neck). The main cause being the overuse of smartphones and texting. While texting people are looking down for long periods of time. and over time, this causes the head to change angles and lean forward, thereby increasing the weight and load on the neck joints. The resulting effect is the reversal of the natural curvature in the neck.
The average weight of the human head is around a dozen pounds. As the neck bend forward and down, this weight increases. At a 45 degree, weight can increase to 49 pounds. And this all begins with your smartphone and texting. To help understand this better, try imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck for several hours a day. It’s a risk for some 58 percent of American adults who own smartphones accruing recent studies. Medical experts have been warning people for years. Some say for every inch the head tilts forward, the pressure on the spine doubles.
Research has shown that this can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and may even need surgery to rectify. Some doctors are even calling this an epidemic. On average, smartphone users are hunched over 2-4 hours a day. Text-neck is more profound in teenagers and in time doctors foresee many young adults needing corrective surgery and spine care. It is up to parents to warn their children of the dangerous health risk like telling children to wash their hand after using the bathroom.
Text-neck and poor posture also causes other health problems. It can also reduce lung capacity by 30 percent and is also linked to headaches and neurological issues, depression and heart disease.
How can you remedy Text-Neck
- Limit your mobile usage and give your neck a break.
- There is an App for everything. You can download an app to help you correct your posture in real-time (google search for “text neck app”)
- Take at least 5 minutes per hour break at work and give your neck a rest.
- Look down with your eyes and avoid being your neck.
- Do head and neck exercises by moving your head from left to right several times. Use your hands to provide resistance and push your head against them, first forward and then backward.
- Start doing some yoga or pilates. Or any exercise that focuses on posture.
- To avoid future health and wellness issues, simply do a Google search for “text neck exercises” or “text neck remedies” and educate yourself about this world-wide health concern.