Text Neck Symptoms And Exercises To Address The Syndrome
New technology solves lots of problems for us, but unfortunately it also creates lots of problems for us. One of the newest negative phenomena attributable to technological developments is an ailment known as text neck. This is a malady that strikes people who use their cell phones, tablets or other electronic devices for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, this description fits a great percentage of the modern populace.
These days, users of smart phones spend at least four hours a day in deep communion with their devices. That adds up to at least 1400 hours annually. It’s easy to see why more and more people in modern times are victims of text neck in fact, doctors and chiropractors are seeing a rise in this malady in epidemic proportions among Millennials.
What Are the Symptoms of Text Neck?
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from text neck:
- Noticeably poor posture
If you are slumping, hunching your shoulders and habitually craning your neck forward, it may be the result of too much electronic device use.
- Pain in the neck
If your neck and shoulders hurt, it may be because you have been spending too much time with your smart phone or other electronic device.
- Back and shoulder pain
If your upper back and your shoulders hurt or if you experience muscle spasms and/or sharp shooting pain through these areas, it is an indication of text neck and you may want to look into a solution to improve your shoulder flexibility.
- Tingling and numbness in the extremities
Text neck can cause pinched nerves in the cervical spine. This can cause numbness and tingling in your arms and hands.
Why Does This Happen?
Your head is very heavy. In fact, it may weigh between ten and eleven pounds. Your neck bones are designed to balance that weight with little or no effort as long as your head remains on gracefully perched atop your cervical spine.
When you bend your neck forward for an extended period of time, it increases the strain on your neck by effectively increasing the amount of weight it must bear. For example, when you bend your neck at a 15 degree angle, your cervical spine must bear a weight of approximately 27 pounds. When you bend your neck at a 30 degree angle this increases that weight to 40 pounds. When you tuck your chin and bend your neck 60 degrees, the bones of your neck are effectively supporting 60 pounds.
This excessive weight-bearing over a long period of time straightens these bones and destroys the curve of the cervical spine. This curve is very important because it is designed to absorb the impact and shocks that naturally occur when you move around.
As time passes, the damage caused to your cervical spine can lead to disc herniation, muscle strain and pinched nerves.
“If a cervical nerve becomes pinched, pain and possibly neurological symptoms can radiate down your arm and into your hand.” – Spine-Health
All of these conditions are quite serious and can have a very negative impact on your overall health.
How to Prevent Text Neck Syndrome
Developing good habits and being mindful of the signals your body is sending you can help you prevent and treat text neck. Follow these tips:
- Practice Good Posture
Now as always, posture is extremely important when it comes to issues of personal comfort and avoiding strain on the back and neck. When you crane your neck in order to see the screen of your device, you create an excessive amount of stress on your neck. This leads to extensive wear and tear and can cause permanent damage.
- Limit Electronics Use
Reducing use of electronics is one very good way to reduce your risk of text neck. Additionally, you should avoid spending extended periods using your computer, smart phone, tablets or other device.
- Free Up Your Hands
Use a stand to hold your device in a position that is comfortable for your neck.
- Keep Moving
Be sure to get up and move around every 15 or 20 minutes.
Text Neck Exercises
Here are a few exercises you can perform to directly address the effects of text neck. Repeat each movement ten times per hour while using an electronic device.
- Tilt your head gently from right to left stretching the muscles in the sides of your neck.
- Rotate your head gently first one way and then the other.
- Tilt your head gently forward and back.
Perform these exercises smoothly and breathe deeply while performing them. Don’t rush or make jerky movements.
Note: If you are looking for a complete resource and program to fix your text neck syndrome, I recommend you checkout our review of Forward Head Posture Fix.
Keeping Healthy Is A Good Defense
Stay generally healthy by eating a balanced diet and getting 15 to 20 minutes of light to moderate exercise every day. Yoga, stretching, walking and other enjoyable forms of exercise can work wonders to improve your overall fitness level. When you stay generally fit, you’re less likely to fall victim to problems such as text neck.