“Text neck” is now considered a medical condition. A 14 year old in Colorado was diagnosed with ‘text neck,’ a condition “when the cervical spine gets reduced and moves off track.” The cause of it comes from spending too much time looking down at phones or other devices. This causes strain and physical abnormal curvature on the already still developing spine. The symptoms of ‘Text Neck’ may include pain, numbness, or tension in the neck and shoulder areas. If severe enough it can also be the source of migraines.
“Neutral head positioning is when the ears are in line with the neck and shoulders.” For every inch of forward head posture, which occurs when looking down at your phone, the effective weight of the head on the cervical spine increases. The weight of your head is from 10 to 13 pounds! That’s a lot of stress on your spine for hours of time.
Here are some ways to counteract:
1. Hold the device at eye level.
2. Stretching releases tension so doing shoulder shrugs and neck rolls can be beneficial if done throughout the day.
3. Being aware of your posture.
4. Lower phone or other device usage.