Text Neck Syndrome (By Kelly Mc Donnell: Chiropractor at Victoria Point Chiropractic)
We live in an age where electronic communication technology and especially mobile devices play a big part in our daily lives. Almost everywhere we go, many people from the very young to more senior folk can be observed using mobile devices to check email, social media, YouTube, or just browsing to relieve boredom. Whilst this may be the new societal norm, as a chiropractor I’m concerned. The number of people I see, especially teenagers suffering from text neck syndrome is increasing at an alarming rate.
Text neck syndrome is the term used to describe neck pain and damage caused by looking down at your phone, tablet or other mobile device. The damage caused by this prolonged forward head posture can be permanent and result in serious complications such as headaches, back pain, decrease in the normal spinal curve, muscle damage, nerve damage, spinal disc herniation, early onset of arthritis and even gastrointestinal problems or loss of lung volume capacity.
How do I determine if I, my kids or others could possibly be suffering from text neck syndrome? One or more of the following symptoms may be indicative: chronic headaches; soreness in the neck; numbness and tingling felt in the arms and hands; tightness or stiffness across the shoulders; pain in the neck, back, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, wrists and elbows; and /or chronic postural changes. If you find any of these symptoms are affecting daily life it is best to have a spine and posture assessment conducted by a chiropractor.
Here are my tips and tricks on how to avoid text neck:
(1) Hold your phone (or another mobile device) at eye level, as much as possible.
(2) Take frequent breaks from your phone or laptop.
(3) Set a timer to remind you to stand and walk around every 20 – 30 minutes.
(4) Avoid looking down for an extended period.
(5) Make sure you sit squarely to your computer/ work screen.