Our entire world is in our smartphones. The world of the internet in our pockets offers us shortcuts to work, deals on groceries, and recipes for dinner. You can watch movies, television, and listen to music. If you’re like most people, you’re also using your phone to text. Unfortunately, what’s usually required of texting is pointing your head down for periods of time while typing. The repetitive, downward angle can cause massive strain to your body, especially in your shoulders, back, spine, and neck. These aches can lead to potential chronic injuries if not corrected over time.
This is known as “text neck”. It is sadly becoming increasingly common, especially among younger people, who normally wouldn’t experience such neck pain until they are older. Today, we will discuss everything that you need to know about text neck and the steps you can take to lessen the pain.
Text Neck: What’s Actually Going On
There is so much that goes on when you drop your neck to look at your phone. Our necks are built to look around our surroundings and be mobile. There shouldn’t be a pain when performing general neck functions. However, over time, poor neck habits can lead to aches and pains.
Eventually, a loss of the natural curve can develop because you are straining your muscles. However, it’s important to note that there is more to text neck than only your neck. When you move your neck forward and look down, your shoulders also shift slightly forward and down. This can cause the muscles of both your neck and shoulders to contract. Your neck muscles are working overtime to support the weight of your head. Our bodies tell us this through aches and pains when texting excessively in this position.
What To Do About Text Neck
Visit Your Local Chiropractor
Chiropractors are specialists when it comes to the spine and neck. Typically, before giving out an adjustment, chiropractors take several tests to learn about a person’s body to help better identify their needs. When provided information about your current health status, as well as your medical history, it’s important to tell your chiropractor everything. The more detail you provide, the better a chiropractor can serve you.
Chiropractic care is not a one-size-fits-all approach. These doctors will design a custom care plan based on your immediate medical needs and health goals. If you think that you’re experiencing text neck, let your chiropractor know. While at the chiropractic office, they can help you through adjustments. Outside the office, chiropractors can provide you with tips on how to maintain strong health and posture.
Pay Attention to Your Posture
Outside of receiving chiropractic care, one of the best ways to combat text neck is to pay attention to your posture. To improve your posture, try standing tall and straight, with your shoulders back, your stomach in, and your head level. Your arms should naturally hang at your sides and your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
Although multitasking isn’t easy, try paying attention to your posture while texting. Keep your shoulders unrounded and your head naturally relaxed when using your smartphone. Raise your phone higher to avoid long periods of your neck pointing downward. It may feel awkward at first, but using your phone at eye level goes a long way to ease the strain on your neck while texting. The same applies to your desktop computer. Consider investing in a standing desk to help raise your computer monitor to eye level. This will help you while you type on your keyboard, and while you take texting breaks during your workday.
Depending on your profession, this may be easier said than done. Certain people are required to be on their devices to perform particular tasks for their jobs.
Do your best to pay attention to how you feel throughout your day, and be kind to your body. Prioritize taking breaks from your phone, tablet, or laptop when needed. For people that find it hard to remember to take breaks, consider setting a reminder on your phone to put down your device every 30 minutes. Over time, this will become a habit that you’re used to doing. You can add an activity, like a short walk, into these breaks to help you look forward to them more and stay committed.
There’s no question that technology isn’t going anywhere. It will more likely become more and more entrenched in our lives. To combat things like text neck, we must pay attention to our posture and how we use our devices. Small habits can compound over time and have negative effects on our bodies. If you are experiencing neck pain from extended periods of smartphone usage, consider taking breaks when you can and shifting the way you hold your device. By making these small adjustments to your routine, you can avoid text neck and feel better throughout your day.