Do you suffer from Text-Neck?
We spend so much time on our cell phones these days; texting, emailing, tweeting, snapchatting, instagramming, etc. While this technology is useful and entertaining, it can also stress our spines. If we do this briefly our bodies can handle it, but our bodies are not designed to hold this posture for prolonged periods of time - like how we are using our phones now!
When we look down and bend our necks, we put increased pressure on our spines. The further we bend, the more pressure we add. Just bending your neck 30 degrees quadruples the pressure on your spine (see the diagram below). Over time, this stress on our necks and spines can lead to neck pain and stiffness, headache, shoulder stiffness, backache, and even long term disability.
So, what can we do? First, improve your posture. When you’re using your phone, bring your phone up higher so that you don't have to look down. You don't need to bring your phone to eye level, as you can look down with your gaze. Also, improve your standing posture. Most people can benefit from standing taller - without arching your back.
Second, move your neck! Gentle range of motion exercises can reduce stiffness in your neck. Try looking to right and left (rotation of neck), bending your head to right and left (side bending), and looking up (extension of neck). Repeat each exercise 3-5 times every few hours to help alleviate stiffness.
If you would like to learn more exercises to improve texting posture and reduce stress on your spine, please make an appointment with one of our highly trained physical therapists!
Common posture using phone.
Better posture using backpack to elevate the phone