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The Dreaded Text Neck

Posted on: May 24th, 2017

Technology is a wonderful thing! We may not have the hover boards we were promised in Back to the Future just yet, but we do have some pretty amazing things right at our fingertips. But with the prevalence of technology, and in particular, smart phones, comes some interesting effects on the body. Let’s talk Text Neck.

Text Neck is the name given to a variety of symptoms that have one thing in common: Forward Head Posture.  Forward Head Posture does not only happen while texting, but it is easiest to spot when someone texts because that position is one of the most exaggerated examples of Text Neck or Forward Head Posture.

Forward Head Posture is specific to the anterior translation of the head on the shoulders. Several things are happening during this translation:

  1. Every inch of Forward Head Posture can increase weight put on the spine by 10 pounds
  2. It causes the loss of a cervical curve that can stretch the spinal cord 5-7 cm

From it’s effects on the loss and even reversal of the normal cervical curve, and added head weight on the spine, early spine degeneration and disc degeneration is seen in those afflicted with Text Neck.

Whether you’re texting, watching an iPad, playing mobile games, or browsing social media for the latest and greatest memes, these activities all have one thing in common. You guessed it, Forward Head Posture!

Chiropractic care and strengthening activities can help to combat Text Neck, a side effect of modern society. Limiting kids and teens screen time also helps! The 20 minute standard is usually a good rule of thumb: No more than 20 minutes of device time before taking a 5-10 minute break. Limiting screen time to 2-3 hours a day total (if possible) also helps prevent the complications accompanying Text Neck.

Utilizing full body activities during non-screen time helps build and exercise muscles needed to balance the head on the shoulders.  Preventing Forward Head Posture is easier than correcting it.

Worried you may have some Text Neck-ers in your family? Getting you and your family checked by a chiropractor will help you catch Forward Head Posture early on, and prevent bigger problems and chronic pain from arising in the future. Check before you text!