Text Neck Pain?
Have you heard about “text neck”? It’s the latest malady chiropractors around the nation say they are dealing with. It’s common to adults as well as children, who are showing cervical spine degeneration long before it should be happening.
What is text neck? It’s the repeated, frequent forward head flexion from looking down at the screens of mobile devices for long periods of time. That includes smartphones, tablets and even desktop computers. Simply sitting in front of a computer for hours at a time can cause forward head posture or slouching, which overloads the neck and spine.
On average, the human head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds when you’re standing up. When your head is at 45 degrees – a prime texting position — while waiting in line for coffee, your head is putting almost 50 pounds of pressure on your spine. That results in what’s known as “forward head posture,” which can lead to muscle strain, disc herniation and pinched nerves. It can even flatten or reverse the natural curve of your neck.
A 2005 study concluded that health status decreased significantly with forward head posture and in proportion to the amount of forward head posture.
Coupled with that are kids lugging heavy backpacks to school. A recent U.S. study examined the effects of various backpack loads on the posture of 11 schoolchildren ages 8 to 11. The loads equaled 10 percent of body weight, 15 percent and 20 percent. The study determined that the loads children carry to school should be limited to 10 percent of their body weight to decrease the risk of back pain.
The solution is to put your devices aside – and, when you do use them, pay attention to your posture. Hold your phone up to your face instead of bending down to see it. But mostly, remember that you don’t have to respond to every text or email immediately. Considering cutting back your time on facebook. People who don’t use it report higher levels of happiness and less anxiety. And who couldn’t use a little less anxiety?
Of course, if you are suffering from text neck or pain from carrying a backpack, your chiropractor can help. The problem with text neck is that it causes spinal misalignments, which put pressure on the delicate nerves within the spinal cord. The result is nerve interference, which prevents vital nerve energy from reaching the limbs and organs, preventing your body from operating at capacity.
Happily, doctors of chiropractic who are trained in Chiropractic BioPhysics can rehabilitate and realign the spine back to health for a permanent and long-term solution to back pain and illness.
Dr. Cynthia Boyd and her team at Symmetry Health Center are among a handful of Oakland, Alameda and East Bay chiropractors certified in Chiropractic BioPhysics, which is the most researched, published, scientific, and results-oriented corrective chiropractic technique.
If you live in Oakland, Alameda or the East Bay, take advantage of our no-charge consultation to determine whether you or your child is a candidate for care at one of our Symmetry Health Center locations in Oakland and Alameda.