Text Neck: Technology and Your Health

 

A group executives using their cellphones outside their office. Notice the downward posture of their heads while viewing their phones. This is an unnatural position and overtime can lead to problems.

Text neck is a disorder defined as overuse of the head neck and shoulders resulting in the strain of the spine. It is a modern epidemic, that has come to effect anyone that uses technology. Often the culprit responsible for this condition is downward viewing position of the head due to use of cell phones, tablets, video games etc. Sustained usage of such devices can be very stressful on the body especially to the neck and shoulders.

Cell phones have a become a indispensable part of our lives. Our phones help us to communicate with other, entertain us, and help us do our jobs. All this focus down at a small handheld screen often causes a change in the posture of not only the neck but the entire body. Such a position is abnormal and can cause muscle pain, fatigue, and headaches.

Before the term “text neck” came into being, neck and shoulder strain of this type was largely seen mostly individuals that spent considerable time reading. Bending the neck down to read a book was the original source of this type of discomfort before technology introduced the cellphones. Today, virtually everyone uses a cell phone and for considerable amount of the day. The great the the neck bends down and forward the greater the weight is placed on the cervical spine.

Studies show that 78% of individual between the ages of 18-45 experience discomfort due to long term daily cell phone use. This condition occurs in people both young and the more mature.

Do you have text neck?

Symptoms of Text Neck

  1. Chronic neck and upper shoulder pain when using a hand held device
  2. General shoulder tightness
  3. Pain made worse by looking down or using a computer

What happens if it left untreated?

The poor posture that accompanies text neck can lead to degenerative arthritis. Over time the bones of the neck can change their structure. A natural healthy spine has a gentle S-shape with the cervical spine having a backwards lordotic curvature. When the spine becomes injured, this curve can reverse or become straight. In their case, the muscles of the neck and shoulder must work much harder. This causes them to eventually to become sore and tired. The stress place upon the bones of the neck can pull them out alignment.

If left untreated, the body will try to stabilize bones of the neck by creating bone spurs and eventually fusing its originally separate segments. In some cases, it can even lead to decreased lung capacity, headaches, depression, and severe neurological issues.

How upper cervical care can help?

No one is going to give up their cell phones. So what can we do?

At our office, we will take precise 3 dimensional imaging of your neck. Once your misalignments are determine, precise adjustments will be made. By correcting the misalignments, it will allow your body to return to its natural posture and take the stress of of your shoulders and neck. The neck adjustments administered are gentle and free of the typical cracking and popping sounds most people associate with chiropractic care.

With chiropractic care, you too can restore your body’s ability to focus, organize, and heal.

Call (626) 403-3000 to schedule your free consultation. Keep your head up and feel better today.

References:
1.André Bussières. A review of functional outcome measures for cervical spine disorders: literature review.

2. Neupane S, Ifthikar Ali UT, Mathew A. Text-Neck Syndrome-systemic review. Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research 2017;3(7):141-148.

3. Vate-U-Lan P. Text Neck Epidemic: A growing problem for smart phone users in Thailand. Proceedings of the twelfth international conference of Learning for Knowledge based society; 2015 December 11-12; Thailand.

4. Toh SH, Coenen P, Howie EK, Straker LM. The associations of mobile touch screen device use with Musculoskeletal symptoms and exposures: A systematic review. PLoS One 2017; 12(8).

5.  Always Connected: How Smartphones And Social Keep Us Engaged.

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