By Ehren Allen, PT, Certified Manual Therapist
A couple of years ago, “texting neck” wasn’t much of a topic of conversation. In recent times, many teenagers are seeking medical treatment due to complaints of neck, shoulder and lower back pain. Their complaints are largely related to the amount of screen time they are getting.
Looking down and dropping your head forward to look at your smart phone changes the natural curvature of the neck by causing increased rounding at the spine and shoulders. The head typically weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. With excessive and prolonged flexion, the weight on the front portions of the spine increase to about 60 pounds of pressure! Continuous and excessive pressure, ultimately results in pain, stress and strain on the neck and shoulder muscles, and a change in the structures surrounding the area.
Here are a few tips to help decrease the stress on your neck:
1. Straighten up: look into a mirror and make sure that your shoulders are back and the chin is slightly tucked. You should be able to draw a straight line from your ear to your shoulder.
2. Squeeze your blades: Multiple times per day, pinch your shoulder blades together for a set of 30. This endures the back muscles are activating and staying strong.
3. Look forward: raise your phone up to eye level, rather than continuously looking down. This will ultimately, decrease repetitive stress and strain on the neck.
At the end of the day, the best way to decrease your risk of “texting neck” is to decrease your amount of screen time. Get out, be active, and enjoy family!
Proper Texting Posture
Improper Texting Posture
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