Apart from possible radiation and providing distraction when walking and driving, phone usage has yet another side effect called ‘Text neck.’ This is a term used by chiropractors, specialists, medical doctors and physiotherapists to describe a painful postural syndrome caused when looking down at a phone thus straining the neck. Neck tissues and joints aren’t built to be flexed or hunched down or forward for extended periods.
Who is affected?
Text neck is not just for people who regularly text but affects people who are into e-mailing and gaming. It’s also problematic when people engage in the above activities while very young. Therefore, anyone who spends prolonged periods on their laptop, gaming device, cell phone, e-book reader, etc., is at risk. Since teens are documented to be leading in texting usage and smartphone adoption, the next generation could experience epidemic levels of text neck.
Tips to relieve pain
While you cannot entirely disconnect from your smartphones, look at these small changes that can alleviate pain and protect your neck.
• Take frequent breaks: prevention begins by taking small breaks from your device. Use the 20-20-20 rule which says after every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look 20 feet ahead. Stretch your neck by looking up and bringing it back to a neutral position.
• Lift your phone to eye level: if you’re using your phone while sitting on a desk, lean on your elbows to bring your phone to eye level.
• You can also use an ergonomically efficient laptop or computer if you want longer and regular browsing.
• Actively make an effort to use your phone more productively. This means limiting games and avoiding checking your phone frequently without doing anything with it.
• Get checked by a chiropractor: the recommended stretches are best done if combined with manual therapy.
A Perth chiropractor will suggest a course of treatment which might include muscle release technique, muscle stimulation, or therapeutic exercises to address any underlying or unknown postural issues. Melville Wellness Centre offers such services in Perth. Schedule a consultation with us and let us help you treat the neck pain.