A Florida chiropractor has coined a new condition: “text neck.” According to this article, the catchy term refers to an affliction plaguing social-savvy mobile users. In today’s digital world, certain behaviours are negatively affecting many people’s posture, alignment and muscle health.
Think about it: Rarely do we sit upright and alert to our surroundings anymore- on buses and subway trains, in food courts and public benches, people are often seen hunched over, glued to a mobile device. How often do we run to check our phones, update our social network statuses, and make ourselves available wherever we go?Imagine if we lost our phone, all the looking around and panic/stress we would put ourselves through.
It’s important that we start to acknowledge the consequences of these behaviours, which not only produce sore muscles, but also likely impact tension and stress levels. Do we really have to “check-in” everywhere we go or “comment” on every Facebook post we see?
Understanding these physical side effects can help us to alter our own behaviours. As an RMT, I can point out the simple little things like text-neck and provide recommendations to alter your posture in a way that is more suitable. According to Dr. Cornett, repeatedly carrying yourself in an abnormal position (such as craning your neck downwards while texting), manipulates and overworks certain muscles. This can cause a host of unwanted physical effects, including muscle spasms, pain and headaches.
Perhaps most alarming is the fact that we still don’t know whether or not these habits can cause long-term damage to the discs and joints. Although the texting phenomenon is just starting to gain attention as a chiropractic and massage health concern, many injuries are sustained from repeated manipulations of the body on a seemingly innocuous day-to-day basis. Poor posture can cause noticeable damage to the spine. Sitting in an office chair can produce persistent lower back pain. And now, as we know, craning your head downwards in a constant need to connect with the virtual social world can strain your neck. So if you’re a frequent texter, a contortionist sleeper, a jaw-clencher, or a sloucher…be mindful of how you carry yourself, and what it could mean for your overall health.
There are multiple ways to correct this issue. Some simple ways include challenging yourself to un-plug from social media at times during the day or avoiding texting in your lap. Here at KW Health Connection, we can provide treatment for such discomfort and provide homecare that can help you text painlessly.
Steve Richtaritsch, RMT
“Keep your stick on the ice.”