Text Neck The Emerging Epidemic That Can Mess Up Your Spine

If you haven’t heard of text neck, we’ll save you from having to Google the term. It describes the effect on the spine, especially the neck and upper back, that is the result of frequent use of computers, smartphones, tablets, and other forms of modern technology. The problem is the posture people assume when using these devices. Consider the following concerns regarding the excessive technology use that is so common in modern society.

How Technology Use Leads to Text Neck

The spine seems to be perfectly engineered to support the head, which weighs approximately 12 pounds. However, the further forward one leans the head, the more the weight on the spine is increased. For example, a 15-degree tilt of the head to look down at a computer monitor that is positioned too low increases the pressure on the spine to 27 pounds. Now let’s magnify that to a 60-degree angle of the head that many assume while watching a video on a smartphone or tablet held in the lap. At 60-degrees, the pressure on the spine reaches 60 pounds! That’s enough to cause neck, back, and shoulder problems.


How to Counteract Text Neck

Unfortunately, modern society dictates the use of technology for work, social interaction, and even tasks like paying our bills. So how can you avoid the effects of text neck?

Posture – For one thing, you can work on your posture, regardless of the activity you are taking part in. For example, at work, try to keep monitors at eye level. You may have to prop your screen up with some books, but avoiding that head tilt is important if you are going to be at a desk 8 hours a day. When it comes to mobile devices, try to hold the device higher. Many tablet cases include a stand, so if you are watching videos on your tablet, set it up on a table rather than craning your neck.

Exercises – Follow this link to see 9 exercises for stretching your upper back. These exercises can help you to find some relief, especially if you perform them during breaks from looking at a monitor or mobile device throughout the day (although they work well at the end of the day too).

Schedule a Chiropractic Appointment – If you are experiencing technology related pain, it may be because poor posture has resulted in a misalignment. Dr. Ward can help you get back into alignment and help you learn the right posture and exercises to keep you in alignment as long as possible. Call 703-672-1661 today to schedule an appointment.