Is Your Mobile Phone Causing Text-Neck?

Smartphones have increasingly become a pain in the neck. Sounds amusing but in a literal sense yes, mobile phones are causing “text-neck”.

Gold Coast Chiropractor, Dr. Nigel Nulty explains that the posture which we adopt when we look at our mobile screens increases the stress on the neck and can cause strain, wear and tear, resulting in pain in the neck.

The real concern is that we don’t see the impact this is going to have down the road on the kids who use mobile phones daily. 

Stress On Your Neck

Keeping the head and the neck stretched forward for a longer period of time can eventually cause the natural curvature of the neck to reverse. Dr. Nulty informs that as we tilt down,the effective weight of the head on the spine increases. An average human head weighs around 4.5kg to 5.5kg. So if at 0 degrees the head weighs 5Kg, it would weight approximately 27kg at a 60-degree angle.

It has been observed that if on an average a person spends two to four hours daily with his head dropped down, in the long run, it may lead to pain in the head, neck, arm and even numbness. Dr. Nulty explains that this is due to the fact that when we are in a normal standing position i.e. facing forward, all curves of the neck and the spine are in correct alignment. But when we drop our chin towards our chest we are unknowingly stretching the whole structure.

Potentially, texting while sitting is worse than texting while standing. Dr. Nulty says that this is due to the fact that the impact on the spine increases at higher flexed postures. It is recommended that to keep the neck aligned with spine we should make sure that our ears are over the shoulders and the shoulders are over the hips.

Get Help With Neck Pain

How Do I Know If I Have It?

The symptoms of a “text-neck” can range from mild to severe. Soreness in neck muscles is just a mild symptom. However, in severe cases, it can cause headaches, numbness and tingling in arms, and vertebral disc damage. The only obvious way to avoid a text-neck is to reduce the usage of a Smartphone. But since it’s a big ask, experts are advising using of voice recognition, making phone calls instead of texting, and taking regular breaks to avoid neck problems.

Experts also advise keeping cell phones at eye level while texting. They also suggest using both hands and both thumbs while texting to create a more symmetrical and comfortable position for the spine. Exercises such as rotating the shoulders with your arms by your sides can also help.   Also take regular breaks.

However trendy it may sound but a “text-neck” is a great cause of concern and especially for teenagers and kids who are more prone to this risk since they use hand-held devices for longer periods of time. Keep in mind the longer you are in that position, more the muscles have to accommodate.

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