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Stay Healthy : Avoiding Text Neck

If you’ve been experiencing tension or pain in your head, neck or shoulders, particularly after using your computer or smart phone, you may be suffering from a condition called “text neck,” a technology-related syndrome that chiropractors are beginning to see in record numbers.

What is it?

Text neck is the name given to what’s basically a repetitive stress injury. It’s the result of bending the neck forward for long periods of the day. This position strains the neck and results in pain. Although it used to be one of the rarer repetitive stress injuries, chiropractors are seeing an influx of patients in their offices due to our increasing dependency on laptop computers, tablets, smart phones, and other electronic devices.

Technology isn’t to blame for this epidemic, but the way we use it is. The next time you’re out in public, take a look around at all the people using their smart phones. Notice how their necks are pulled down toward their chests and how their shoulders are rolled in? See how their spines are hunched over and their legs may even be drawn up toward them? That’s how text neck gets started. You can step outside on almost any given day and actually witness the early destruction of someone’s body within minutes.

How to Avoid it

Your chiropractic team loves their electronic devices too. By no means would they want you to give up your technology. However, they would like to provide you with some tips on how to use your smart phone in a smarter way.

  1. The most obvious way to avoid text neck is to avoid looking down for long periods of time. It may be uncomfortable at first, but you need to train yourself to bring technology up to your eye level instead of accommodating to its level.
  2. Try not to sit in any position for a long period of time. Get up, walk around and perform a few stretches. Even just wiggling around will keep your body from remaining in the same position for too long.
  3. Try to budget your time on your phone. Keep the texting to just a couple of minutes at a time. If you find that you’re spending 20 minutes at a stretch texting someone, then you’re not using your phone for the purpose it was intended.
  4. Adopt good posture habits in the rest of your life. If you’re sitting and standing properly during the rest of your day, you’re going to be a lot less likely to develop text neck symptoms from a few minutes of technology use.
  5. Listen to your body and report any new pain to your chiropractic team. They can help you to address repetitive stress injuries before they get a chance to really take over your life. Regular chiropractic visits can also help.

We all love our technology, but it’s developing at a rate faster than the human body. Remember that while your phone is 21st century technology, the human body has been roughly the same for a few thousand years or so. It’s wiser to accommodate our limitations than it is to expect our bodies to perform in a way they were never designed. Respect your human body as the most magnificent piece of technology on Earth; remember, you’re going to have it a lot longer than your iPhone. 


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