Chances are that right now you’re sitting with your neck forward, eyes looking down, and shoulders hunched forward. And now I can hear all of my readers collectively straightening up.
“Text neck” refers to the position you were just sitting in and the symptoms that can occur as a consequence of routinely holding that posture. It’s the posture that most people assume while texting, but can also be seen in those that regularly use other electronics, such as iPads or video games. The position causes the normal curvature of the spine to become straightened and the weight of the head to lose its normal balance point. Long term use of smart phones and other similar electronics can result in neck pain, chronic headaches, numbness and tingling in the hands, and even arthritis in the neck.
The scariest part is that “text neck” isn’t just affecting adults; we’re beginning to see the postural changes and even some of the symptoms in elementary-aged children. Kids spend most of their days in school with their head down looking at the work on their desks. In generations past, when kids got done with school, they went outside to run around for hours before Mom called them inside for dinner. But now, kids are going home to video games and tablets and maintaining the same poor posture. This positioning becomes their default posture and can affect the normal functioning of their musculoskeletal system and their nervous system. There is even one study that correlates the “text neck” posture pattern with decreased lung capacity.
If you’re beginning to notice “text neck” posture changes in yourself or your children, come visit our office. We can evaluate the severity of the postural changes and prescribe appropriate care to correct the posture and prevent it from recurring. After all, if you do nothing, it will get worse.