The conveniences of technology in the modern era are causing unprecedented health problems for thousands of consumers around the world. Text neck, or neck pain caused by looking down at a cell phone screen for too long, is affecting people in unprecedented numbers. Chronic suffering from this condition even has a name: text neck syndrome.
New research is revealing that cell phones are a big cause of negative health effects in the neck and body. Looking down at your cell phone can give you text neck, a medical condition you get from not supporting the weight of your head in a proper way.
Most of us spend hours looking down at electronic devices every day, but few are aware how much pain text neck can cause or how many ways text neck can reduce our quality of life. Yet research has shown that looking down at cell phone screen for hours each day can cause breathing problems, migraines, pain in the jaws, and severe neck pain. Traditional neck pain relief techniques seem to do little to alleviate the problem.
The benefits of modern technology are certainly coming at a high price for people that are dependent on it. Cell phones allow people to be connected any time of the day or night at the click of a button. Personal assistants and secretaries have been replaced by multi-functional Apps, and one small device can hold more music than the largest cd rack can hold. Yet the high price of adverse health effects from text neck may not be worth the efficiency.
Looking down at a screen puts tremendous pressure on your cervical spine, creating text neck syndrome. The neck serves two functions: supporting the head and protecting the spinal cord. To provide optimal support to your ten-pound head, the neck must be fully upright.
A study by Hansraj in 2015 studied the impacts of text neck on patience by looking at the pressure being put on the spine at different head tilt angles. What he found was that just a 15-degree tilt of the neck raised the weight of the head to 27 pounds. In case that angle to 60 degrees and your head puts a full 60 pounds of pressure on your neck.
This is a massive amount of pressure to put on such an essential body part, but sadly many people are doing so for hours each day. Hansraj’s research discovered that average people are on their phones for over three hours every day.
An older study from 1993 by Watson and Trott revealed that patients that suffered from frequent headaches often spent more time than average with their head in a forward tilted position. A forward-tilted head was also linked to having weaker neck muscles and less control over the upper cervical neck flexor. Even before cell phones were invented, the symptoms of text neck were being felt by the population.
Increased symptoms of text neck pain are around the world are consistent with the increasing prevalence of technology in our lives. At this point over half of the people studied reported to suffer from severe headaches and neck pain. And as cell phone use becomes essential to daily life, that number should only go up.
The best way to get text neck pain relief is to correct the alignment of the cervical spine. This can dramatically reduce headaches and give a significantly higher quality of life to patients suffering from text neck.
Do your neck a favor and give it a break. Spend less time on your cell phone and be mindful of your posture while you use it. Neck pain relief may be just as simple as raising your phone to eye level, rather than turning your head down to it.