Have you ever heard of text neck?!
This is a newer diagnosis related to the constant texting or looking down at our cell phones. When we look down at our phones, it causes repeated stress and pain in the neck from being in a sustained flexion for a long period of time.
So what happens to our neck when we are in this position?
The human head weighs about 10-11 lbs on average. When you bend your neck, the stress on your neck will increase. At 15 deg of cervical flexion, the weight increases to 27 lbs. At 60 deg of cervical flexion it increases to 60 lbs. This is a lot of stress put on the cervical vertebrae!
Signs & Symptom
Upper back and neck pain when using your handheld device(s)
Nagging pain in between your shoulders at the end of the day
Numbness/tingling in the arms
How to reduce text necK
The biggest thing and the hardest thing for most people is to limit the amount of time you are using your phone. This will help your neck but also allow you to be more present throughout the day.
Perform posture exercises to help improve the strength of the muscles between your shoulder blades
Perform exercises to reduce nerve involvement of the cervical spine so that you reduce headaches and numbness/tingling in the arms.
Postural taping techniques can be used to remind yourself to reduce forward head posture when using your device.
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AMY CAROLLO, DPT
Women's Health & Fitness Specialist.