Text Neck: Is Phone Usage Causing Your Neck Pain?
by Kimber Erskine
Phones have only recently become an obsession, it’s becoming second nature to have it in your hand at all times. Everywhere you look, someone has their heads dropped, scrolling, tapping or typing away. With larger screens, and apps proving to be bigger crutches than we imagined, there may never be a reason to look up from your phone again. History has shown that the human body, when subjected to certain conditions will adapt. If we continue to spend so much time looking down, how will this affect our bodies in the long term?
Introducing: Text Neck
A term coined by chiropractor Dr. Dean L. Fishman, text neck is described as a type of overuse syndrome or repetitive stress injury, resulting from having your head hung forward and down looking for extended periods of time.
Did you know the average human head weighs 10 pounds? Let's be honest, the vast majority of phone users do not target or regularly exercise the muscle groups required to have a neck that can support and offset continuous text posture. There’s proof of this in the symptoms associated with this condition. Chronic headaches, shoulder tightness and neck soreness. If left untreated, a text neck can lead to inflammation of the neck muscles, ligaments and nerves, permanent arthritic damage, as well as increased curvature in the spine.
Prevention & Solutions
There are numerous ways to prevent text neck. You can start by holding you phone up to eye level versus looking down. Limiting screen time can help with preventing text neck as well as lowering heart rate and quelling anxiety that is subconsciously induced when we see red notification tags. Stretching, yoga and pilates can also help to loosen the neck muscles.
One thing we often hear from our clients coming out of massages is "I feel taller". Massage can help loosen and relax those strained muscles and dramatically improve posture. For many, the stress we endure impact our neck and shoulders the most. This compounded with text neck can cause a lot of discomfort.
If you suspect you have text neck symptoms, book an appointment with our professionals at Eastside ASAP! Even just one hour of massage can make significant changes in your posture and relieve those uncomfortable text neck symptoms. We recommend our signature therapeutic massage, deep tissue if you would like more pressure, or our headache relief massage if you are suffering from chronic headaches.