Text neck. Yes, you read that right. Text neck. Who would have thought that cellphones could create such a common neck pain that it has its own term. Just take a walk in downtown Denver or sit at a restaurant in Wheat Ridge and you can see the epidemic of cellphone usage. This term describes what is more appropriately called by chiropractors and the medical community as neck strain and is typically from the overuse of neck muscles during certain activity, including using your cellphone. While the use and technology of our cellphones seems to be increasing, so does our poor posture. The variety of tasks we can now perform on our cellphones encourages us to stoop our heads, roll our shoulders forward and slouch while we surf the web or check our email. This poor posture puts additional stress and weight on the spine and muscles that are attached to it. Different areas of the spine, such as the disc, are designed to absorb the weight of our body but when we hear a notification and look down for extended periods of time it transfers this weight to the neck musculature. This can initially cause overuse injuries in the muscles of the neck. We have yet to see the long term effects of this new lifestyle of constantly looking downward.
Text neck is not alone. It is important to look at this concept with other activities and technology that encourage bad posture. In the workplace, it is important to maintain proper posture while sitting at a desk all day, serving tables, or sitting in a board room. Almost everyone works with computers at some point and proper ergonomics are important to your health. Proper screen and keyboard placement can prevent the forward posture of your head and forward rolling of the shoulders. Many patient’s complain of “between the shoulder blades” pain that commonly stems from their posture at work. Overuse injuries and pain are much easier to address in the acute stages before it becomes chronic.
If you or someone you know has an overuse injury related to technology or your workplace, call our office or use the schedule an appointment function on this website to get a comprehensive exam to determine the cause of your pain. Chiropractic specializes in finding the cause of the pain, providing relief, and providing the tools for continued health and wellness.