Talk about a 21st-century condition: the name itself is enough to conjure images of buses full of commuters, head-phones in and heads down, scrolling through their individual news feeds. As a chiropractor, cell phone culture makes me despair. We are seeing the premature onset of spinal conditions linked to young lifestyles that involve too much electronic consumption and not enough physical activity.
Pull your cell phone out of your pocket and have a look: chances are you moved it from pocket to lap, and are looking down at it from above. Very few people heed the conventional wisdom of holding their cell phone at arm’s length and eye level; it’s just not a “cool” look. The problem is about weight: particularly that of the head in relation to the spine. When you hold your phone at hip level and crane down over it, you are magnifying the weight of the head to the spine and creating imbalance at the same time.
Symptoms of text neck:
- Stiffness and soreness in the neck
- Upper back and shoulder pain
- Muscle spasms
- Reduced range of motion in the neck
At our office, we take a proactive approach to treating text neck. Prevention is the name of the game: reducing the amount of time you spend daily looking down at the phone and encouraging you to take breaks if looking at screens for an extended period of time. Any excessive amount of time spent looking down is creating strain on the neck. Rehabilitation is the next logical step: we provide you with spinal adjustments to improve your range of motion and reduce nerve irritation. From here we work on strengthening the core as a support for the upper body and increasing the strength and pliance of muscles in the neck and shoulder through stretching and exercise.