Your smart phone, laptop, tablet and other mobile devices keep you on the cutting edge of communications, but are they hurting your body? But physician, physical therapists and chiropractors are noting a dramatic increase in musculoskeletal disorders of the neck and upper back.
The term text neck was coined in 2008 to describe nerve pain and headaches associated with prolonged use of these electronic gadgets.
The average human head weighs 10 to 12 pounds when held upright. When tilting the head forward and holding a smart phone at mid-torso this creates 20 to 30 pounds of force on the neck. Maintaining that posture for an extended time can lead to pinched nerves, muscle strain and disc damage. Even causing the natural inward curve of the cervical spine to flatten with a loss of elasticity causing even more problems.
Mobile devices aren't going away, so how do you avoid the detrimental effects of text nec without ditching your devices?
Physical therapists advise taking frequent breaks (every 20 minutes) while using mobile devices. These breaks should inculde neck exercises as well as actually getting up and moving around to stimulate blood flow. Hold your head up as much as you can.
For tablet and laptop use, add an external mouse and external keyboard, and raise the device on a stand or stack of books.
Be conscious of your body's posture and you can avoid getting text neck.