Text neck is an issue that has only emerged over the last decade, but it is a significant issue and one that can be easily avoided. According to a study published in the Imperial Journal of Interdisciplinary Research,
“A recent study shows that 79% of the population between the age 18-44 have their cell phones with them almost all the time, with only 2 hours of their walking day spent without their cell on hand. Text neck most commonly causes neck pain and soreness. In addition, looking down at your smart phone too much can lead to upper back pain ranging from chronic, nagging pain to sharp and severe upper back muscles spasm.”
“Text neck,” the name given to the posture people assume when looking down at their cell phone, causing a rounding of the spine, particularly in the neck. If you have neck pain, text neck might be to blame.
What is Text Neck?
The official name for “text neck” is anterior head syndrome, which is a loss of the cervical structure—or the region of the spine that makes up our necks.
The cause of text neck is when the neck is held at an unnatural angle for an extended period of time, causing problems like headaches, reduced blood flow to the brain, and pain in the muscles of the neck and shoulders.
Other problems caused by text neck include:
- Early arthritis problems
- Spinal misalignment
- Flattened spinal curve
- Spinal degeneration
- Herniated discs
- Compressed discs
- Damaged muscles
- Nerve damage
- Lost lung volume capacity due to forward curve of the neck, shortening the windpipe
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Stressed spine, resulting in worsened headaches, allergies, asthma, heartburn, constipation, cramping, and more.
Text neck does not only affect adults. Children and adolescents are becoming affected by text neck as well, as they have also joined the chronic smart phone use era. As stated by a study published in Surgical Neurology International,
“Musculoskeletal neck pain is an important disease in children and adolescents with numerous risk factors contributing to its development. Increased stresses regarding the cervical spine may lead to cervical degeneration along with other developmental, medical, psychological, and social complications.”
Preventing Text Neck
Fortunately, it is not that difficult to prevent text neck if you begin developing symptoms of it. Here are a few of the most effective tips for preventing text neck:
Put the Phone Down
By limiting your cell phone use, you can prevent text neck. It’s that easy.
Put the phone down and go outside. Walk around. Sit with proper posture.
Do some yoga. Stretch. Do something that doesn’t involve staring down at your phone! That is the first step.
Try to track how many minutes per day you normally use your cell phone, and then start by trying to cut that time in half.
Get Your Spinal Alignment Checked by a Chiropractor
Many of the misalignment issues caused by poor posture from text neck or other conditions can be relieved by a visit to the chiropractor.
The methods chiropractors use help relax muscles and lessen the stress on the spine.
As mentioned in the first point, movement is the main way to ward off text neck. A little exercise will help maintain flexibility and stability of the joints.
So, for the health of your neck and spine, put the phone down and go outside.
Yoga is probably the best option for improving your neck posture, but nearly all forms of exercise will help.
Use a Memory Foam Pillow
Memory foam pillows are designed to help improve the position of your neck and spine while sleeping, regardless of your sleeping position.
If you are dealing with symptoms of text neck, a memory foam pillow will help ease the tension on your neck while sleeping, which can be more than you expect if you are only using a regular pillow.
Memory foam pillows are designed with a compact, yet soft material that will protect you from neck strains when you sleep.
Unlike regular pillows that force your neck to strain and adapt to their structure, this pillow yields to the shape of your neck and head. This protects you from neck injuries, and relieves the pressure accumulated from your day.
Furthermore, when your neck is comfortably rested, your spine aligns well with your body.
You can quickly feel how your spine can finally decompress when sleeping on a memory foam pillow, and you will be very happy you made the switch!
If you are thinking that a memory foam pillow would be a worthwhile investment for alleviating the symptoms of text neck (which it is), SensorPedic makes the best memory foam pillows on the market.
Concluding Thoughts – How to Avoid Text Neck
While technology has done many wonderful things for us, it has also introduced a painful side-effect known as text neck.
The best way to prevent text neck is to put the phone down and limit your usage. You’ll be surprised how fast the pain goes away!
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