Did you catch the local Chicago news yesterday? WGN’s Dina Bair discussed the increasing epidemic of spinal issues due to people hunching over their phones, commonly known as “text neck.”
While we’ve been saying this for quite some time, many people are simply unaware of the damage they’re doing to their spine—and overall health. Dr. Narmda Kumar, D.C., chiropractic director of Chiro One Wellness Center of Forest Park, sees “text neck” increasing in her patients, “Unfortunately, we’re starting to see this more and more at a young age, as younger generations are using cellphones all day long,” she states.
Why Does Text Neck Happen?
When you’re hunched over your phone, your head is thrust forward and increasing pressure on the spine. “The human head weighs about 10 pounds, but as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine increases, making us prone to subluxations,” Dr. Narmda warns. “Subluxations occur when one or more spinal vertebrae move out of position and create stress or irritation on nearby nerves, causing potentially serious health problems.”
Potential Health Problems
Over time, this poor posture can lead to early wear and tear on the spine, spinal degeneration and even surgery,” explains Dr. Narmda. “Catching this problem early, and treating it with chiropractic care is essential.”
Some of the problems “text neck” victims may see:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Loss of lung capacity
- Pinched nerve
- Spine degeneration
Tips to Avoiding Text Neck
Dr. Narmda says it’s ideal that you and your kids take extended breaks from the phone, but if that’s not possible, try “to change up your routines by stretching or exercising together,” she says, “And work to strengthen your neck muscles by doing chin tucks with 10 second holds. The well-known
is also very helpful."
Some other tips to follow:
- To avoid hunching, retrain yourself to hold your arms out and look straight ahead
- If you must look down, gently tuck your chin in, don’t jut it forward
- Rest your forearms on a pillow when texting to help minimize tension
- Sit up straight, your shoulder blades back and down, and keep your head back; your ears should align with your shoulders
- Use a hands-free device when talking on the phone; avoid holding the phone between your ear and shoulder
Regular Chiropractic Adjustments are a Must
How many of you will immediately follow the tips above? Or decrease your phone usage? It’s unlikely that people will break their phone habits—and it’s very likely these issues will continue. The best way to combat and counter the damage is with regular chiropractic adjustments.Learn more about our offices and our corrective chiropractic treatments and schedule an initial exam for yourself, your child or teenager or another family member.