Suffering from Text Neck Syndrome?
Updated: Jun 24, 2021
This buzz word is the term that describes neck pain and subsequent damage sustained by overuse of looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or other wireless device from increased frequency & propensity.
Even though society has been reading books, individuals on wireless devices spend more time engrossed in different activities and lose all sense of time. Such prolonged activity can cause permanent damage to the C-spine, especially in young children in their growing years.
Symptoms include severe upper back pain, headaches, muscle damage, nerve damage, spinal disc herniation, spinal disc compression, decrease in spinal curve, gastrointestinal problems, early onset arthritis, loss of lung volume capacity.
What can you do to avoid text neck? Prevention is key.
hold your cell phone/other devices at eye level as much as possible. Laptops and tablets screens should be positioned at eye level preventing excess neck strain & head forward posture. Thus, your head should be positioned squarely in line with your shoulders and spine.
take frequent breaks from your phone and laptop throughout the day. For example, set a timer or alarm that reminds you to get up and walk around every 20 to 30 minutes.
NOTE: When in proper alignment, your head weighs 12lbs. However, with increasing angle/head forward posture, the weight of the head increases. For example, 15 degree angle of the head results in your head weighing 27lbs.
Bottom line: be more mindful of your posture. You will begin to notice how much you slouch and strain your neck when driving, watching tv, eating.
Now how about some rehabilitation to correct the damage that has occurred. Strong lower back & abdominal muscles are key to support the upper body including the neck. Additionally, strong & flexible neck muscles are needed to minimize strain to the C-spine and support the weight of the head.
Treatment options include manual adjustments, massage therapy, and cold laser therapy.