This month’s message from Dr. Werner covers neck pain resulting from texting.
Do you have “Text neck”? Text neck was first recognized less than a decade ago, this is a common term for people suffering with neck and upper back pain and muscle spasms from overuse of cell phones. People spend hours a day perusing their phones looking at e-mails, text messages, and checking social media sites.
The bio-mechanics of this daily habit perpetuates poor body form, tilting heads forward for long periods of time. Consider that your head weight is equivalent to a bowling ball, and you then realize how much stress is being exerted on your neck and upper back muscles to support that weight in this position. Another term for this negative posture is Anterior Gravitational Syndrome, which basically means that instead of your head sitting squarely aligned over your shoulders, it is instead being pushed forward by gravitational forces such as texting, working in front of computers, driving cars, and standing over counters cooking, to name a few examples. Imagine this 10-12 lb. bowling ball sitting on your neck, and for every inch your head tilts forward, you are increasing that weight by a significant percentage. Is it any wonder why we have so much neck and upper back discomfort?
In addition to neck and upper back pain and muscle spasms, this repetitive posture causes headaches, shoulder pain, and an increase in thoracic kyphosis, which leads to the development of a Dowager’s hump in your upper back, which increases the forward neck position accompanied with a host of additional unpleasant repercussions. These can include arthritis, loss of normal posture, potential pinched nerve syndromes and radiculopathy (pain, tingling, numbness in arms and hands).
Think of text neck as an overuse syndrome that can induce repetitive stress injury. So, what is the cure? Throw away your phone? OK, realistically you’re not going to do that! Simple, more practical solutions are as easy as changing your phone angle so that instead of bringing your head to your phone, lift your phone up and closer to your head. That position automatically puts you in a better posture that scientific studies show significantly reduces pain symptoms.
Of course, the best course of treatment should you end up in pain with this condition is Chiropractic care. In most cases, Chiropractic treatment produces immediate pain relief and coupled with therapeutic exercises and ergonomic recommendations, you can reestablish good posture for phone and computer use.
As we say in Chiropractic, good structure, good function.
To your Health, Dr. Werner
To Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Werner, Call: 713-528-8800