You read it right: text neck is now a viable ailment and it is causing the premature onset of spinal degeneration in many young people. Cell phones have become the preeminent device in our daily lives: business can be conducted, social engagements can be made, info can be accessed and things can be purchased from your pocket. In the process, we forget that our spines are suffering. Chances are, when you pull out your cell phone you hold it at hip level. Whether for discretion’s sake or to look casual, or because it is simply ingrained, we hold the phones down low and ask our necks to crane downward to view them. In this picture, your shoulders are slumped forward, and because the neck is out of neutral alignment, the burden of weight from the head to spine is magnified and muscles in the shoulder and neck are strained trying to compensate.
This quandary is particularly problematic because the people using cell phones the most heavily are teens and young adults. For these young people, their spines have not even finished developing fully and already we are creating a problem of persistent poor posture and spinal imbalance. At Haynes Chiropractic, we believe that awareness is our greatest tool in the fight against text neck. It is a problem of posture: everyone knows the maxim, “sit up straight,” but it is still easier to slouch and, as lazy creatures, we usually end up slouched or slumped. The same rule applies with cell phones: odds are you are not going to stop conducting cell phone business from the hip and lap, but having an awareness of the damages it can cause may make you pause for thought.
If your neck or shoulders are feeling stiff or painful for any reason, we can help. Keeping your spine balanced through chiropractic adjustment, and your muscles in a state of good health are some of the best ways to prevent against the incursions of poor posture. Furthermore, we can help you establish posture as an institution in your life: whether it be for sleeping, sitting, standing or texting, the are always ways to improve.
Dr. Jeff Haynes, D.C.