Text neck is a condition that develops as a result of holding the head forward and downward for prolonged periods. Many individuals adopt this posture when using their laptops, tablets, mobile devices and other such devices. Text neck develops after the constant misalignment of the neck’s natural position, which increases the weight of the head. Severe injury may lead to permanent damage of the cervical spine, which develops into chronic back pain later in life.
What Causes the Text Neck Condition?
Usually, the body has an upright posture that allows the eyes to be aligned at the centre of the shoulders. This natural position ensures that the neck muscles hold the weight of the head (usually 10-12 lbs) without exerting excessive pressure. However, when the head is tilted forward (even by an inch) its weight increases significantly, causing text neck because the neck has to support six times the normal force. It explains why people who have an untreated text neck condition develop inflammation of the neck ligaments, increased spin curvature and nerve irritations.
Symptoms of Text Neck
The condition often causes soreness and neck pain. Individuals may also experience:
• Instant upper back pain; it can be nagging, chronic and severe sometimes causing muscle spasms
• Tightness and shoulder pain, which develops into painful shoulder muscle spasms
• Constant or intermittent headache that is worsened when you look down
• Increased spin curvature
People who experience any of these symptoms should consult a chiropractor to find out if the issues are attributed to text neck syndrome. Treatment depends on an individual’s symptoms and the length of time the patient has been experiencing the symptoms. Chiropractors emphasise on using physical exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles to alleviate the problem. Here are some exercises they may recommend:
This exercise is ideal for opening up the shoulders and anterior chest wall, which tightens as a result of this syndrome. The pose works on the upper part of the body to strengthen the shoulder muscles. If you are performing this exercise as part of your workout regimen, consider pulling your shoulder blades downwards to create space around the neck area.
This posture is suitable for individuals who have slumped shoulders. It opens the shoulders from the front part and strengthens the back muscles. To achieve a perfect bow pose, lift the heels high while keeping the tailbone pressed against the mat.
The Chin Tuck
It is a straightforward exercise you can perform from your working stations. The stretch enhances spinal awareness and strengthens the neck muscles to help the patient realign his head.
Chiropractors recommend this exercise to strengthen spinal awareness. The pelvis and the core are actively involved when performing this exercise. When breathing in, you create a tilt in the pelvis while the tailbone faces upwards. Breathing out creates a posterior tilt, making the tailbone turn downwards.
The Exaggerated Nod
This posture counterbalances the forward and downward position of the head by pulling the shoulders downwards and backwards. It also improves neck mobility.