While technological devices have pretty much become indispensable to our lives, they could literally become a pain in the neck if we’re not careful. Read on to find out what text neck is, how it affects your health and how you can prevent it.
What is text neck?
An American chiropractor named Dean Fishman first coined the term ‘text neck’ to describe the repeated stress injury caused to the spine when a person spends a lot of time bent over an electric device, like a smartphone, tablet or e-reader. While it is a relatively new health condition, it is already a major global concern that is affecting millions of people. In fact, it is already resulting in numerous visits to a specialist spine doctor for many sufferers.
How does text neck affect your health?
The human head weighs about 10 or 12 pounds. However, a study conducted at New York Spine & Rehab Medicine found that as the neck bends forward, the weight exerted on the cervical spine increases. If the person is bent forward at a 15? angle, the weight on the spine is 27 pounds, at a 30? angle it is 40 pounds and at a 60? angle, the weight is about 60 pounds. To give you an idea of what 60 pounds feels like, imagine having an eight year old child strapped around your neck for a couple hours every day.
On an average, people spend two to four hours bent over their phones per day. That adds up to anywhere between 700 and 1,400 hours of stress on your cervical spine every year. Teenagers who are in high school are the worst, since they spend an extra 5,000 hours per year in this position.
These are some of the ways that text neck can affect your health:
• Soreness and inflammation in the neck.
• Comprised structural integrity of the cervical spine, its curvature and its supporting ligaments, tendons, musculature and bones.
• Pain in the neck, shoulders, back, arms, hands, wrists and fingers.
• Headaches and either numbness or tingling in the extremities.
• Long term problems like muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated disks, early arthritis, spinal degeneration or misalignment, muscle damage, nerve damage and gastrointestinal problems.
If you begin to feel neck or head pain, check out https://www.nextgenoms.com/ to book in for a consultation with a head and neck doctor.
How to avoid text neck?
To avoid the problems associated with text neck, make it a point to look at your device with your eyes, without dropping your neck forward. Exercise your neck as often as you can; roll your head around first clockwise then anti-clockwise, turn it from left to right, and nod your head up and down.