Milpitas Chiropractor Offers Tips to Avoid ‘Text Neck’
Over time, spending large amounts of time looking down to compose a text or read a Facebook post takes a huge toll on the body and your spine.
These days they’re calling it “text neck,” a term coined by Florida chiropractor Dean Fishman. Previously, it was known as “forward head posture,” a health condition where the position of your head moves forward from the center of the shoulders.
As your head moves forward, your center of gravity shifts, dramatically increasing the weight of your head. Over time, this can strain the joints of the neck, causing neck pain and headaches, and even neck and shoulder muscle spasms. Eventually, it can cause straightening or reversal of the natural curvature in the neck.
The problem isn’t limited to smartphone use. If you sit at a computer for eight-plus hours a day, your head tends to come forward and your shoulders roll forward, as well. Meanwhile, you overstretch the muscles of the neck and upper back, while shortening and tightening the muscles of the chest.
There are ways to alleviate the problem.
- Raise the phone. Move your cell phone (and other devices) to eye level.
- Focus on proper ergonomics. Whatever you’re doing – driving your car, watching TV or using a tablet device – don’t lean forward for long periods.
- Stretch. Perform neck and shoulder rolls throughout the day to release tension caused by looking down at your screen. In addition, stretch your lower back, hips, hamstrings and quad leg muscles daily. Here are three neck and shoulder stretches for you.
- Tuck the chin down toward the neck, then slowly raise it toward the ceiling.
- Rotate the head so you are looking over one shoulder, then turn slowly and rotate in the other direction.
- Rotate your shoulders clockwise while holding your arms down by your sides; repeat in a counter-clockwise direction.
- Add yoga to your lifestyle.Do the poses for at least 30 minutes twice a week.
- Concentrate on your posture. Stop slouching, and follow these tips to improve your posture:
- Pretend someone above you is pulling a string from the top of your head. This should keep your head up and shoulders back.
- If you work at a desk, cushion your lower back with a rolled up towel.
- Take frequent breaks. Put away your phone, and put down the iPad. If you do have to text, change positions —lying on your back is one way to relieve pressure on the neck.
- Use a cervical roll. Roll up a small hand towel length-wise, then put a rubber band around it to keep it rolled tight. Lie on your back on a flat surface and place the roll at the base of your neck so your neck naturally curves around it. Do not put it under your head. Relax and rest on the cervical roll for 15 to 30 minutes a day.
- Get the app.Dr. Fishman, the chiropractor who coined the “text neck” term, has also developed an app called The Text Neck Indicator to notify you when you’re holding the phone at an incorrect angle.
If you do feel neck or shoulder pain, see your chiropractor. Chiropractic adjustments can relieve spinal misalignments — bones shifted out of place — that interfere with your nervous system’s ability to communicate with the rest of the body. Without that interference, your body can heal naturally and be able to operate once again at peak efficiency.
Consider a visit to the Milpitas Spine Center in Milpitas, California. Drs. Dhanish Patel and Scott Riley and their dedicated team of chiropractors and therapists are focused on whole body wellness. They are dedicated to giving your body the support and care it needs to heal.
If you live in the Milpitas, Fremont, San Jose, Santa Clara, or Sunnyvale area and are experiencing pain, contact the Milpitas Spine Center for a complimentary consultation to see if we can help.