It has been said that ‘nothing in life comes for free’. Well, it turns out that this statement is true. Every gain comes along with a complementary pain. In the high-tech modern world we are increasingly turning to gadgets and smart phones to run our lives. This provides a lot of advantages to us, but having the world at our fingertips is placing a huge strain upon the very thing that controls them – your neck! The price tag that people are beginning to pay for all of this modern convenience is: text neck
Here are 5 things chiropractic patients ought to know about text neck, the epidemic that is taking the world by storm:
1. Text neck is caused by poor posture.
Specifically, habitually looking down at a phone or laptop puts extra pounds of unwanted pressure on the cervical spine, forcing the bones forward and locking them up. This can lead to excess wear and tear and even degeneration over time. Additionally, in the space between the neck and shoulder is a cluster of nerves known as the brachial plexus. If these nerves are compressed, stretched, or irritated, the pain can be severe and difficult to treat.
In short: Text neck puts the head, neck, and spine at risk.
2. Text neck is increasingly common among young people.
Spending as little as two to four hours a day hunched over a smart phone is enough to make a serious impact on the body over time. And though two to four hours may not seem like a long time, it isn’t hard to arrive at two hours by adding several 15-minute or half-hour segments together.
It seems like with every day that passes there are more and more distractions and reasons for children to focus on mobile screens. The latest ‘Pokemon Go’ craze is a great example of this.
For teenagers, specifically, two to four hours on a smart phone is not unfathomable. Some teens likely spend twice that much time in a given afternoon or the space between classes or over lunch. Consider the impact of 1500+ hours of bad posture in a year. It is no surprise that teenagers are at risk.
The lasting impact of text neck on today’s young people could be costly.
3. Text neck in combination with a sedentary lifestyle is a recipe for disaster.
With hours of looking down at a smart phone often come hours of relaxing on the couch or sitting still. Generally speaking, we aren’t prone to be active when we are engaged in surfing the Internet or texting our friends.
Though the list of ailments for poor posture is long and discouraging, it is made worse by sluggishness or inactivity. The best thing to do is to put the phone down on occasion, stretch, exercise, and return to the technology only once in a while.
The benefits of technology do not outweigh the consequences of inactivity.
4. Text neck can be corrected.
Practicing good posture is the easiest place to start. Making an appointment with a chiropractor is a good move for anyone who is facing the painful side effects of hours spent looking down.
Taking small steps toward better posture can save money and pain in the long run. Choosing to engage in technology as a treat instead of around the clock is a good prac
tice for anyone who wants to live a long and healthy life.
There is a specific chiropractic technique called Advanced Biostructural Correction that specialises in the correction of poor posture brought about from years of living the modern sedentary lifestyle. SpineCentral In Hampton, London is one of only a handful of chiropractic centres in the UK to specialise in this technique.
5. Text neck can be avoided.
To be clear: No one is asking anyone to stop using mobile phones. Text neck can be avoided without going 1980 on mobile phone usage. But avoiding extra pressure on the neck and spine does require forethought and follow-through.
In today’s ever-increasing technological age, choosing to dodge smart phone usage doesn’t happen accidentally. One good strategy is to look with the eyes instead of moving the neck. Another strategy is to ask friends and family to say something when they notice prolonged periods of poor posture.
In short, text neck is nothing to LOL about. Take it seriously and make any necessary changes before text neck gets the best of you. Let us know how we can help by giving us a call today.
Yours in health,
Dr Richard Gliddon
Chiropractor at SpineCentral