In the previous post, I discussed how text neck has become more prevalent as smartphone use has increased, especially among young people. Text neck is a painful condition you experience when you constantly tilt your head forward to stare at your smartphone for texting, emailing, web browsing, gaming or any other activity.
Some people chuckle when they hear the phrase “text neck”. It almost sounds like a made up disease. But when you look at the science behind it, and use a little common sense, it’s easy to see how the constant pressure created by carrying your head forward can do serious, long-term damage.
As I mentioned in the previous post, Dr. Dean Fishman coined the term “text neck” in 2008. The first iPhone was introduced in 2007. The first BlackBerry smartphone was released in 2002. When you look at the history, you see that it didn’t take long for text neck to become a real problem.
Today, people who have text neck could very well be dealing with a painful condition that’s 10-15 years in the making. Aside from neck pain, text neck could accelerate degeneration in the spine and lead to early onset of osteoarthritis and other conditions.
The point here is that text neck should be taken seriously.
Of course, text neck can be prevented with good posture and smart decision-making. There are even smartphone apps that alert you when you have poor posture. I’ve never tested these apps myself, but if technology can help you improve your posture, I’m all for it.
That’s the ideal scenario. The more realistic scenario is that people will wait until they’re in pain to do something about it. The first step is often to go online and search for articles about stretches and exercises that can alleviate text neck pain.
Just keep in mind that neck pain is a symptom. Those stretches and exercises might provide temporary pain relief, but they probably won’t correct the problem at the source. Also, depending on the severity of your pain and your physical condition, those stretches and exercises you find through Dr. Google might not be right for you as an individual.
Any painful condition, including text neck, should be evaluated by a professional to determine the underlying cause, the severity, and any downstream effects that could affect other parts of the body. As part of your treatment for text neck pain, we might recommend exercises to stabilize your neck and correct your posture. Chiropractic care can be used to restore proper spinal alignment and relieve nerve pressure, while acupuncture and massage therapy can reduce inflammation, release muscle tension, and promote energy and blood flow. Physical therapy may also be needed to restore full range of motion, flexibility, stability, strength and proper muscle length.
Finally, education is critical. We’ll suggest ways to help you maintain good posture, become more aware of poor posture, relieve stress on your neck, back and shoulders, and avoid any reoccurrence of chronic text neck pain.
If you notice pain, tightness or tingling in your neck, back or shoulders when you look down at your smartphone, schedule an appointment at Natural Healthcare Center. We’ll help you get to the root cause of the pain, recommend a personalized treatment plan, and help you make better lifestyle choices so you feel better, function better and live longer.