The most common complaint I hear from clients is that their neck and shoulder areas are tight and painful, which sometimes leads to headaches. We all know that teens these days have a habit of bending over their smartphones, but have you paid attention to your own posture? Even if you hunch over your smartphone or tablet or laptop just a little bit, it puts extra pressure on your neck, which causes tension, pain, and other damaging issues. Experts call this issue “text neck” and if left untreated, can lead to other physical problems later in life.
The Long Term Consequences of Text Neck
Remember how your mom always warned you, “If you keep making that face it’ll stay that way”? Turns out your mom was right all along! Text neck can cause potentially irreversible damage if not corrected early.
The average person spends over three hours a day hunched over a mobile device. This can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on your neck and spine each time you use your phone! That amount of tension over a prolonged period of time will pull your spine out of alignment, leading to inflammation, disc herniation, and pinched nerves. Even worse, it causes unnecessary wear and tear on your spine, leading to early degeneration of the spine. This could mean costly and painful surgeries later in life.
How To Correct Text Neck
If you’re guilty of hunching over your phone on a regular basis, it’s not too late to correct these issues! Here are a few ways you can fix your posture:
#1. Think like a ballerina. There’s a reason why ballerinas are the epitome of grace. A crucial part of their training comes from beautiful posture. Be conscious of your posture, and make a real attempt to stand or sit up straight, suck in your belly, keep your pelvis tucked under, and keep your head on top of your neck. It’ll take effort, but once you train your body to align itself properly, you’ll notice an improvement in back and neck pain…and confidence!
#2. Take a break. If you are at a desk, stand up and walk around every 30 minutes and do some arm, neck and back stretches. If you are killing time somewhere and using your smartphone, put it down and do something else for a while. This will not only help keep your body free of aches and pains, it may increase your face time with other people, which leads to happiness.
#3. Exercise. If you’re sedentary for most of the day and also spend a considerable amount of time on your phone, exercising in the morning or after work will relieve the tension in your muscles. Regular exercise keeps your muscles relaxed and improves your circulation. This also means that you can recover faster from injuries and, yes, “text neck”.
#4. Get massages. Regular massage will release any aching, tension, and pressure in your neck, shoulders and back. Even if you make an effort to correct “text neck” on your own, a consistent massage session can provide additional relief, relaxation, and just that all-over wonderful feeling of endorphins flooding your body.
#5. See a chiropractor. Chiropractic care is a highly effective way to realign your spine and any other parts of your body that might be suffering. Get a massage prior to your appointment for total bodily rejuvenation.
Don’t let text neck affect your long-term (or current) health! Simply by being aware of your posture and putting your phone down every once and a while can drastically improve posture and reduce your chances of developing future problems.