27 Sep Texting: A pain in the neck.
Neck pain is a common problem among millions of people with little understanding as to the cause. With today’s modern technology, younger people are showing signs of premature degeneration of the spine, a condition that has generally been more common in older adults. The overuse of text-messaging seems to be the apparent culprit! Consult your chiropractor if you are experiencing pain in the neck!
Tilting the head forward, as is typically done to view and create text messages, forces the neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments to strain to hold the head up. This can lead to several types of issues, such as arthritic changes to the spine, bone spurs, and muscle deformity. Because the spines of teenagers (the most frequent text message users) are still developing, the health impact for them is especially concerning.
Research published in the journal Ergonomics indicates that text messaging is the worse task for the neck than even other common smartphone tasks. The angle of the head is generally more extreme than when browsing the web or watching a video, especially while sitting. Even though other activities also cause people to tilt their heads, text users stay in one position for a longer time and are less likely to change position.
It may sound a little strange, but the weight of the head is what makes the texting posture so detrimental. The neck muscles are meant to support the weight of the head in a neutral position. However, the head is typically at about a 60-degree angle when texting, which places about six times more force on the neck than otherwise.
To help prevent straining of the neck while texting, or using other technology, consider the tips below:
• Raise the device to eye level.
• Take a break and change position.
• Practice good posture, the body aligned in a neutral position.
• Arch and stretch the neck and upper back periodically to increase blood flow and relieve muscle tension.
• Exercise—a strong, flexible back and neck are more able to adjust and rebound from tension.
Understanding the hazards of the overuse of technology can be the motivation needed for people to start making the needed changes to avoid the resulting damage to their bodies.
Don’t live with a pain in the neck! Chiropractic care is a natural and drug-free treatment to improve physical and emotional health as body functions are freed from vertebral subluxation stress.
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Dr Michael Bloom has a wide and varying interest in what it takes to live a healthy and happy life. He has over 20 years experience as a chiropractor in Europe and Australia and has attended over 40 post graduate seminars and courses. Currently he has a particular interest in the declining posture of society and the health implications associated with poor posture.