The average American spends a minimum of 4 hours each day looking at a smartphone, tablet, or computer screen. The neck becomes unsupported when we look down and puts heavy strain and stress on our bodies. For each degree of tilt, the neck feels added pounds of force as seen in the above diagram. Added force on the neck is damaging and leads to musculoskeletal disorders of the head, neck and spine. We have seen such a large increase in these disorders, especially in the pediatric population with the introduction of smartphones and tablets to our youth. Before, we thought that these disorders were mostly related to whiplash injuries, however "text neck" is proving to show the same damaging results as those injuries.
Some symptoms of text neck can be headaches, shoulder pain, decreased lung capacity (shortness of breath), numbness and tingling down the arms to the hands, irritability, decreased reaction times, decreased attention spans, and neck pain. When the natural curve of the neck is diminished or even reversed, a whole new group of problems can occur such as low back pain, difficulty with digestion and elimination, herniated or bulging discs in the spine among many others. Even worse, when the lungs have a diminished capacity to fully expand and circulate oxygen to the body, this causes added stress to the heart and makes it work harder to pump the blood through the body. Increased stress on the heart has life-long damaging effects to the entire body.
Things you can do to avoid text neck include raising your phone or tablet to your face, instead of face to the phone. Take breaks often. Raise up the computer screen on a desk or table by placing a stand underneath so that it is at eye level. Take several deep breaths while taking a break from electronics use. And most importantly is to limit use all together of these devices. Use headphones when possible to avoid having to look down or even now most devices have voice recognition so you don't even have to look at your phone or tablet. Go out and live your life instead of watching someone else live theirs! Health cannot be sustained without movement. Get regular chiropractic adjustments to maintain movement in the head, neck, and spine to remain free from nervous system interference.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Nicholas J. Knutson, DC
MOUNTAIN ISLAND CHIROPRACTIC
10917 Black Dog Ln., Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28214
Tel (704) 394-8556
Fax (704) 395-8556
"If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special." JV