NECK POSTURE (while using phone) / TEXT NECK
Text Neck, the term was coined by Florida chiropractor, exercise physiologist and entrepreneur Dean Fishman. With changing work style and social media at its peak, the mobile phones and other gadgets are at its all time high. With this changing lifestyle, the lifestyle related problems has also raised many folds. There is an increase in frequency of younger people presenting at office with complaints of headaches, neck and arm pain and discomfort, visual problems are few of the problems gadget related to mention.
With forward head posture, as shown in the picture above, the resultant load on the neck increases significantly with every 15 degrees forward head bending. Researches also have shown that sustained forward head posture causes early spinal degenerative changes, headaches, referred pains to arm, chest, interscapular and forehead areas, and vertigo and up to 30% reduction in lungs aerobic capacity.
According to a survey conducted with 6,000 chronic headache sufferers, the only common finding among them was the loss or reversal of the normal curve in the neck.
As cell phones and smartphones continue to rise there are a few issues that need to be addressed immediately. One needs to pay attention to the position in which the head and neck in placed while texting or surfing the web on smartphones.
While holding the phone in front, gravity tends to take over leading to drooping of head forward and rounding of shoulders (slouched position).
These forces, marked as pound (lbs) in the picture above, on the spine and shoulder girdle lead to sprains and strains of the supporting structures.
The sprains and strains of neck, shoulder and thoracic spine leads to pain, dysfunction, headaches and potentially other serious problems, for example cervical and thoracic disc problems, rotator cuff problems, radiating symptoms, numbness, and weakness.
We tend to forget about the position of our bodies as we become engrossed in our technological devices. It is important to take care of our spine. In order to reduce sprains and strains it is important to be aware of the stresses we place on our bodies and take frequent breaks from technological devices.
Instead of bending your neck to look down, the better option is to flexion the elbow to 70-80 degrees and slight shoulder flexion to 20-30 degrees. One can cradle one arm across the body and place the elbow of the hand holding the mobile on it as shown in the picture above.