The Epidemic of Text Neck
Technology is at an all time high level worldwide. Tasks and jobs are easier than ever thanks to the advancement of electric, computer and smartphone technology. Things that used to take hours or even days are now being completed in a matter of minutes or even seconds. However, like almost everything else in life, with the good comes the bad. In “exchange” for this simplicity of life comes a degeneration of proper posture. Whether we sit at a computer all day, drive a lot, or use our cell phones too much, we are all guilty of improper posture. More specifically, the forward head posture that you see on everyone everywhere LOOKING DOWN ON THEIR CELL PHONES. This leads to stress on the muscles of the lower cervical spine, otherwise known as “Text Neck”. It truly has become an epidemic around the world, as people at younger and younger ages are being affected.
The human head weighs somewhere between 10 and 14 pounds. When you have proper posture, your head is directly over your shoulders and not putting any stress on the trapezius muscles, which are the muscles that are responsible for holding your head up. However, most people spend most of their time in neck flexion (looking down position). Most jobs gear us to be looking down most of the time, unless you are installing ceiling tiles. This puts an incredible amount of stress on these muscles, which leads to muscle spasm, pain, nerve irritation, headaches, etc. Depending on how far forward one holds their head, there is additional weight placed on these muscles, making them overwork and constantly be sore.
This improper posture causes the cervical or neck curve to disappear and straighten out. This straight neck is what is known as “military neck”. It is not desirable. When we lose the normal curve in the neck, we are much more prone to muscle spasm, pain, spinal misalignments, and disc issues. This normal curve protects us as it equally distributes weight and helps us keep our head over our shoulders. Without it, bone spurs develop, which lead to arthritis.
Text Neck is truly an epidemic in society nowadays, as everyone has a cell phone, we are all guilty of overuse of these along with poor posture. This can have major complications down the road. See your chiropractor to get a postural evaluation, as well as an exercise and stretching program that will promote better posture and hopefully restore the normal cervical curve.