April 27, 2022
In your home office, you’re working frantically on your laptop to meet an urgent deadline for work. Suddenly, you look down as your phone buzzes with a text from your spouse, and your preschooler comes into the room needing your help on the tablet. You then realize you have debilitating pain in your neck.
There’s no doubt that technology is a critical part of modern life, and with it has come an increase in certain problems. Eye strain and carpal tunnel are definitely more common than they used to be, but there’s one issue that has affected many more people in recent years—text neck.
Understanding Text Neck
Text neck is a term that is used to describe pain and stiffness that results from looking down. Holding your head forward and downward for prolonged periods of time puts a lot of strain on certain muscles and can give you more than just a little discomfort.
Even if you don’t feel the pain specifically in your neck, you could still be suffering with this ailment. Text neck can also manifest as shoulder and upper back pain, which makes sense because these muscle groups help to stabilize your head.
Preventing Text Neck
The best way to deal with text neck is to avoid it altogether. If at all possible, try to limit the amount of time you look down at screens. Most students and workers these days must work on laptops or other screens, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed to suffer from text neck. Try to keep the screen at or just below eye level. If you can, work at a desk and chair that are ergonomic or adjustable, or prop up your monitor so that it doesn’t require you to bend your neck to see it. Also, take a break every hour by stretching your neck or taking a brief walk.
Treating Text Neck
Prevention may be good for those who don’t already have text neck, but what if you do? How can you relieve your pain and regain function in your neck? One of the first actions you should take is contacting a qualified chiropractor. Not only can they provide adjustments, giving you more mobility, but they can also teach you stretches and proper posture to help you avoid neck pain in the future.
At home, you can also apply heat and cold therapy for 20 minutes on and off to loosen the strained muscles in your neck and shoulders. In your leisure time, you should do activities that encourage proper posture and allow you to be active.
Now that you know more about text neck, how to prevent it, and how to address it, you can face whatever technological challenge comes your way. By approaching technology with healthy posture and habits, you can keep text neck from giving you trouble!
About the Author
With more than 20 years of clinical experience, Dr. Chad Wills has helped countless patients overcome text neck and many other ailments from modern technology. He is one of only two chiropractors in the Lee and Collier counties to be certified in Chiropractic Biophysics. If you think you may have text neck or any other issues with back, neck, or joint pain, contact Wills Chiropractic and schedule an appointment to get relief!
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