Are You Suffering From Text Neck?
With the inevitable use of handheld devices in the Bay Area community, we now see more and more patients suffering from repetitive stress injuries and pain related syndromes due to the rampant use of this form of communication. It has been known in the scientific literature for years, that forward head posture correlates to various health conditions, chronic pain, headaches, sleep apnea and even TMJ disorders. That is the text neck.
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.
How Do We Measure Poor Posture and the Magnitude of a Neck Curve?
Did You Know…..The Measurement of Your Neck Curve and Forward Head Posture May Correlate With How Much Pain You Are Experiencing?
According to McAviney et al., participants in a 2005 study in JMPT* with a straightened or reversed cervical curve were 18 TIMES more likely to be in chronic neck pain compared to the non-pain group.
Specifically, those with cervical spine curves below 20° were twice as likely to be in the chronic neck pain group. This measurement can be done on the lateral cervical x-ray and is a routine part of our neck examination at Symmetry. This is key information in making clinical decisions and formulating a corrective care plan.
In addition to a visual postural exam, a series of full spine X-Rays can give accurate measurements of one’s spinal configuration. This important information is as valuable as knowing your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. After all, the spine and nervous system are the control center of the entire body! Knowing these numbers as a baseline may give insight to the body’s potential for pain and disability in life. It also offers a start point and a goal to work toward the established normal values in the literature.
What are symptoms of Text neck?
Common symptoms of Text neck:
- Neck pain: Pain can be in a specific area or the entire neck. The pain is dull, which can then spread down the shoulder, upper back, and even the arm.
- Stiff neck: Neck, upper back, shoulders may become stiff, mobility reduced.
- Headache: pain that gradually moves from the neck to the head after a long time using the phone.
- Neck flexion pain: Sudden pain when you bend your neck to look down
In addition, some other less common text neck symptoms such as: Cervical radiculopathy, Balance issues, Jaw pain or TMJ,…
Tips to prevent Text neck syndrome
Here are some simple tips that can help you correct your posture, prevent and reduce the risk of Text neck syndrome:
- Raise your phone or other device as much as possible so your head doesn’t have to tilt forward too much.
- Adjust your posture: always keep your head in a balanced position, when looking sideways, ears and shoulders in line, chest facing forward.
- Take a break and reduce the time you spend using your phone or handheld devices
- Make a habit of exercising regularly
- If neck pain is frequent and persistent, consider seeing your doctor.
> Neck pain relief with chiropractic services here.
Looking for a professional Text neck syndrome clinic?
If you live in the Alameda or Oakland, CA area and suffer from Text neck syndrome, contact Symmetry Health Center right away. Dr. Cynthia Boyd and her team are leading experts in treating neck pain with a drug-free approach. Neck pain in general and Text neck syndrome in particular are both problems caused by damage to the spine. And Chiropractic BioPhysisc is the first choice for these pains. These chiropractors will perform examinations to find the root cause of the pain and devise a treatment regimen that is right for you.
If you have not had your spine examined by a neck pain chiropractor professional, call or text us today to schedule a no-charge consultation. Symmetry Health Center at Alameda Office: 510-769-0125 or Oakland Office: 510-654-2207.
*McAviney J, Schulz D, Bock R, Harrison DE, Holland B. Determining the relationship between cervical lordosis and neck complaints. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2005 Mar-Apr;28(3):187-93
*For other references, please email your request to: [email protected]