Text Neck: Background and Symptoms
The next time you're 45 minutes into an Instagram scroll, take a look at your posture. It's likely that you're holding your phone, with a slight hunch of the shoulders and gaze pointed down. Don't worry — we've all been there!
Text Neck 101
"Text Neck" is a new chiropractic term developed by Dr. DL Fishman to explain neck pain sustained from the extended use of smartphones or other handheld devices over some time. "Most people don't realize the angle of their head when they're on their phone," says Dr. Justin Lewis of Get Adjusted Chiropractic. "The amount of time that we spend on our phone will directly affect our posture, and can be the cause of some of our pain." Poor posture resulting in the hunch of the shoulders and curve of the neck while texting on a smartphone are the identifying markers of Text Neck. It's our instinct to make ourselves comfortable in any situation, but as our usage of handheld technology increases, the long term effects of this stance could be worrisome.
Such a Pain
Text Neck pushes our heads forward, and our line of sight downwards, perfect for scrolling and texting. It's not perfect, however, for the tendons and ligaments of our neck! The muscles in the front of our next compress to get our chins closer to our chest bone. The tendons and ligaments in the back of our necks lengthen and stretch to support this. "The main concern with prolonged improper posture is that we'll become more comfortable in the Text Neck position," states Dr. Justin Lewis. "This could lead to quicker onset of neck and shoulder pain, and might induce long term chiropractic issues."
Primary symptoms of Text Neck are general stiffness, localized neck or shoulder pain, radiating pain, muscular weakness, and headaches. Scientists theorize that continued reliance on the position could spur the development of more severe conditions.
A Quick Fix
With our dependence on technology, our usage of our phones will probably stay the same for the time being. It's essential to align our goals of a pain-free life, just like we align our spines! Text Neck might happen occasionally — no one is perfect! A simple solution from Dr. Justin Lewis: look up. "It's important when on your cell phone to make sure that your eyes line up with the top 1/3 of the device," says Dr. Justin Lewis. "This keeps your head in a neutral position, rather than flexed down."
Prevent long term pain with Get Adjusted Chiropractic! Book an appointment online today or call our office at 845-809-8300 to schedule a visit with Dr. Justin Lewis.