Is Text Neck Affecting You or Your Growing Kids?19/09/2016
Technology has such a large effect on our society. Most will generally think of its effects on our social skills or communication habits, but it can also affect your neurophysiology. “Text neck” refers to the repetitive stress injury due to a forward and hung head. This type of injury is becoming increasingly common because people are constantly looking down at their mobile devices for extended periods of time.
Although it might not feel like it, your head weighs a significant amount (an adult head weighs about 10-11 pounds!). This doesn’t put much strain on your neck and shoulders if you’re looking and sitting upright, but it will if you have your head situated in an unusual position for a long period of time.
Symptoms of text neck include:
- Upper back pain or muscle spasms
- Shoulder pain or muscle spasms
- Pinched nerves – this may result in some neurological symptoms (relating to the nerves) that can be felt in your arm or hand
If you start to feel these symptoms and are able to catch on to your own habits (realizing that you might be spending too much time on an electronic device) then it’s time to give yourself a break. Text neck is a repetitive stress injury, so if you can consciously pull away from this habit and break the repetition, then you’ll be saving yourself a lot of ache and pain.
Another good habit to adopt is to simply hold the device higher and eye-level so that you’re not straining your neck muscles. And if you want to take it a step further, perform exercises that focus on your posture. Yoga and Pilates are a couple forms of exercise that will help your postural structure – plus, they’ll also get you away from your devices for a while!
These are especially important points to take away if you have children or teens who often use mobile or electronic devices. Although we try to keep our children active and stimulated through other means, we should also be aware of their physical health when they are plugged in.
Your child’s body is going through a vital time in development. Their bodies are growing and their neuromusculoskeletal structures are forming. Bad habits, like those formed because of text neck, can greatly influence the structure of their developing bodies. If text neck is not tended to, it can lead to inflammation of neck muscles, ligaments and nerves as well as cause potential permanent damage to the spine and cause curvatures. As a condition, text neck may seem like a minor complication amongst children and teens, but if you think about their daily routines and tasks –wearing backpacks daily and the long periods of time that they sit in school and at home doing homework – you’ll realize that your children’s necks, backs and shoulders are often put under strain.
Neuromusculoskeletal care is not something that your children will think about, unless it’s been specifically brought to their attention, so it’s up to you to remind them and encourage them to implement better and healthier habits.
For our team at Rai Chiropractic, it’s not uncommon to see conditions, structural problems and misalignments that could have been prevented. Although we are glad to help you or your child, our goal is to educate and prevent unnecessary pain and strain.
If you have any further questions about text neck, your health or your child’s health in relation to chiropractic care, feel free to contact us here or call us at 604-371-4320.