Text Neck: An Overuse Syndrome

“Pocket computers are linked to the premature onset of spinal problems in the world.” Such a headline would have been unfathomable for most of our world’s history, but the damage caused by cell phones is becoming a global reality in the 21st century, for millennials and their parents alike. Without you even knowing it, the cell phone, your all-in-one life manager, could be creating a pain in your neck: roughly 9-in-10 American adults have a cell phone, and estimates say that young adults spend up to 3 hours a day on the cell phone. If you are on your cell phone even half as much with poor posture, it could contribute to problems including muscle spasm, stiffness in the neck and excessive strain that can lead to spinal problems earlier than usual. 

The cell phone itself is not the problem as much as the human’s proclivity for poor posture when interacting with the device. To demonstrate this, I urge you to take your cell phone out of your pocket. Chances are slim that you held it in front of your face at arm’s length to take a look; chances are greater that you held it at hip level and craned your neck downward. Whether out of habit, a need to be discrete, proximity to the pocket or most likely all of the above, we rarely raise the screen to eye level, instead choosing to conduct our social lives and business from the hip. 

Any posture that involves shoulders slumped forward and neck looking ever downward will magnify the weight of the head to the spine exponentially causing muscles of the upper back, neck and shoulder to become strained and imbalanced as they try to compensate. For teens, who interact with a phone the most frequently (and, incidentally, who’s backs are still in the process of growing) this is especially problematic. 

At Hayes Family Chiropractic, we believe this problem is entirely avoidable. We can help you stay aware of the pitfalls inherent with cell phone posture and provide you with healing modalities that can combat the stiffness and tension associated with a tech-heavy lifestyle. If you are interested in finding out more about Text Neck and how to keep well clear of it, give our office in Dunedin a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Dr. Diane Hayes, D.C. 

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