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The 21st century ailment: ‘Text Neck’

It is estimated that around 94% of adults in Europe & the US own a mobile phone. This means that 94% of the population are at risk of ‘text neck’. Text neck can occur just by tilting the head downwards by 2-3cm to look at your phone screen. It has also been found that when tilting your head forward by this amount, the effective weight of your head increases to 30kg – equivalent to the weight of an average eight year old child!

Text neck can result in severe upper back strain, shoulder pain and tightness in both shoulders. It can also possibly cause permanent damage in young, growing children, which may in turn lead to life long neck pain.

Follow these helpful tips to reduce your risk of ‘text neck’:

  • try to hold your phone as close to eye level as possible. The same goes for people working in an office who need to use a computer for the majority of the day – ensure that your screen is completely in line with your eyes, to ensure you are not straining your neck to look at the screen.
  • If you work in an office, be sure to take a quick stretch break every half an hour or so, to ensure that your back and neck won’t stiffen.
  • Try these simple exercises to relieve pain stemming from text neck, the downward-facing dog is a common exercise to relieve shoulder and upper back pain, however the ‘exaggerated nod’ might be more effective. Simply look up to the ceiling, let your jaw relax and open your mouth, keep your head here and bring your lower jaw to your upper jaw.

Be sure to visit local chiropractor if you are experiencing any ‘text neck’ symptoms because if left untreated, it can potentially lead to inflammation of the neck ligaments and increased curvature of the spine.