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The average American spends over five hours every day on their digital device. In fact, Americans check their smartphones 96 times per day. That’s once every ten minutes! If you are part of the 85% of American’s that carry around a smart device each day, then you likely are a sufferer of text neck.

What Is Text Neck?

While not an official medical diagnosis, Text Neck refers to the pain caused by looking down to text, as well as other actions such as checking email, scrolling social media, browsing the web, using apps, and more, on a digital device. Americans spend upwards of 5,000 hours each year on a digital device. That’s not just smartphone use either. Text neck can result from use of iPads and tablets, kindles and digital readers, handheld video games, and even laptop devices sitting below eye level.

What Causes Text Neck

Essentially, bad posture leads to text neck. The human head weighs around 10-12 pounds. However, the act of looking down at a device increases the weight of the head on the body to up to 60 pounds. The constant and continuous action of looking down negatively impacts the natural curvature of the neck and spine. As an individual looks down to use digital devices, the curve of the neck actually reverses. This leads to a deformity of the ligaments and muscles that hold up the head.

Symptoms of Text Neck

The pain of text neck stems from this deformity as the nerves in the area become stressed. This is called occipital neuralgia and results in pain, headaches, migraines, and other issues. The poor posture of the body causes subluxations in the spine. A subluxation is defined as a “dislocation in the body” or a misalignment. Subluxations prevent the body from moving properly and cut off proper communication from the brain to the body.

Physical Signs of Text Neck Include:
• Increasingly poor posture
• Rounded & bent forward shoulders
• Hunched over appearance

Physical Symptoms of Text Neck Include:
• A sharp and nagging pain in the shoulders and neck
• Stiffness of the shoulders
• Tightness in the upper back/shoulder area
• Occasional to persistent headaches
• Eye & Nerve Pain
• Tingling & Numbness

More than merely the neck and shoulder area, the health of the body is negatively impacted by text neck. The lack of brain to body communication can impact muscles, organs, joints, and virtually every area of the body. This can result in a variety of health issues. In fact, many individuals don’t realize that their digital habits are the root cause for other health-related issues. Your upper cervical chiropractor can provide insight into the full extent of damage due to text neck.

How To Prevent Text Neck

Text neck syndrome can be incredibly painful and impact your day-to-day life. However, there are simple steps that you can take to reduce the impact of digital use on your body.

• Hold your device at eye level
• Practice good posture by tucking the chin and pulling your
shoulders back
• Take a break from your device every 15 minutes
• Be aware of your posture and adjust

Exercises To Minimize The Impact of Text Neck

We all use digital devices in our daily lives. Simply throwing them away or going without is rarely an option. That is why it is so critical to be aware of the negative impacts of digital device use on our bodies and implement exercise routines to keep our bodies healthy and aligned. The exercises don’t need to be complex, as even a short amount of time each day will do wonders for the health of your whole body!

Chin Tucks

With eyes facing forward (not downward!) tuck the chin as if you are making a double chin. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Ensure that you are sitting upright and that your gaze remains fixed forward. Repeat 30 times daily.

Shoulder Squeeze

While sitting in an upright position, tighten your shoulder blade muscles and gently squeeze the shoulder blades together. Hold this position for 5 seconds and repeat 30 times.

Chest Stretch

Support the body with one hand on a door frame at shoulder level. Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in your chest. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat three times on each side.

A foam roller can also be used to stretch the area of the neck and shoulders impacted by text neck. Keep in mind that all exercises are utilized to reduce and not cause pain. If any of the movements cause pain in the body, be sure to contact your upper cervical care provider immediately.

Upper Cervical Care And Text Neck

Upper cervical care is one of the best possible options for individuals suffering with back and shoulder pain, including text neck.

Upper Cervical doctors recognize that the body is a self-healing organism, controlled and coordinated by the central nervous system, which is protected by the skull and spine. Using a gentle and precise technique, Upper Cervical doctors locate and remove interference to the nervous system, allowing the body to heal itself naturally without the use of drugs or surgery.

Text Neck can contribute to misalignments of the C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) vertebrae in your neck. Upper cervical care works to correct these misalignments and restore mobility and function to the spine. If you are the owner of a digital device, don’t wait until pain takes over your day. Schedule a consultation with your upper cervical care provider today.