Up until about 30 days ago, my husband owned a Iphone 4. We are in 2016 and by iphone standards this is kind of ancient. He was pretty aggravated with it because it kept freezing up and all his notes/messages kept disappearing. I noticed he was constantly looking down on his phone, trying to get it to work. It also didn't have all the cool features my Iphone 5s had- so we decided it was time to upgrade. We upgraded him to a 6s PLUS. Yep the big screen and all the bells and whistles.
These days who is not on their cell phones? I am on my way to work- and I see it all over. My neighbor is talking outside on her cell phone, the lady behind me at the red light is talking away like she is on an important phone call (even though its not allowed here in Florida), and in the Starbucks the 3 people ahead of me are either texting or talking on their phones. Its never ending. Even my 3 year old son claims he wants to watch ABC's on my cell phone and instead he starts watching trucks and Tyo the Bus cartoons. If you go to the grocery store, very little people have Lists of grocery's. Oh No - they have notes on their phone about what they need.
All this texting and talking on cell phones has to have some impact on our health- especially our necks. I am sure you have heard of it- its called text neck and its very real. According to a Deloitte Consumer Survey - 53% of cell phone users people check their devices within 5 minutes of waking up.
This obsessive behavior towards always being connected to our phones does affect our neck. Especially when we keep our cervical spine bent forward for long periods of time. It puts a lot of stress on our alignment. In fact when we bend out neck like that, it increases the weight of our head, putting more pressure on the cervical spine. Forward head posture can occur when done for long periods of time. Text Neck symptoms include pain in the neck, pain in the shoulder, arm, fingers, hands, wrists. It can also include headaches as well as numbness and tingling of the upper extremities in extreme cases.
Truly I don't think that we will be spending less time on our devices as the years go on. Its only going to increase. Hopefully, we can all be aware that this pattern of bending our necks forward puts a lot of negative pressure on our spine. Here are some changes you can make in your everyday life to help avoid "Text Neck":
- Make sure your workstation is ergonomically designed - keep your tablets and phones at eye level when using them
- Take breaks when texting and surfing on the web. It healthy for your eyes to look away as well and also it can prevent headaches
- Limit yourself with how long you use your device
- When you are travelling and using your phone, try not to crane your neck downward. Use your eyes to look downward instead
- Stretch Your neck muscles every once in a while.
- Be aware of your posture when you are using your device. Simply bringing your head up while using your phone puts less pressure on the cervical spine. See picture below:
Anyhow, this type of text neck talk is going to be the future of neck pain. Everybody practically has a cell phone - and they should. But that also means you should be responsible with it as well. Especially when it comes to our health.
- Why texting can be a pain in the neck
- Prevent Forward Head Posture and Hunchback Posture
- Simple Neck Exercises you Can do for Pain Relief
- Improve your posture easily