Modernization brings with it modern problems. Recently, a chiropractor coined the term “Text Neck”. Even with good vision and an awareness of your posture, viewing content on your device – especially a smart phone – is a growing and clear problem.
It is extraordinarily difficult to maintain good posture while reading, even when using a desktop computer. All of these activities contribute to forward head posture followed by a flattened lower lumbar spine. In addition to neck pain, poor posture can lead to headaches, lower and upper back pain, pinched nerves, increased chances of developing arthritis, “soreness”, “stiffness” and “knots”.
You may have recently heard that sitting is being described as the “new smoking”; this couldn’t be any more true when talking about musculoskeletal and cardiovascular conditions. Maintaining one position for too long- sitting, standing, or lying down – is not good. Movement and frequent changes in position are the keys to many health issues and text neck is not unique.
Here are my top tips for “Text Neck” prevention and treatment:
- Avoid sitting longer than 20- 30 minutes at a time.
- When holding your phone, hold it to up to minimize flexed neck position, and try to support arms to reduce stress on neck muscles.
- When possible, read materials on a computer desktop or desktop that is ergonomically set up.
- Perform gentle postural exercises.
- Get your eyes checked for your first pair of eyeglasses or to see if you need an updated prescription.
- DON’T READ IN BED!
- Use voice activated software on your phone when possible.
- Use reader (when available) on smart phone or tablet.
- Start Yoga or Pilates classes to improve your awareness of posture and breathing in standing and sitting.
If you often find that you end up sitting longer than you had planned, try setting a timer for 20 or 30 minutes. You’ll be amazed at what a difference that can make.
Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus, NJ provides orthopedic, spine and sports physical therapy services for the greater Ridgewood, Paramus, and Bergen County region. This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. The views expressed here are the author’s views and should be taken as suggestions. Always consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before engaging in a physical therapy or rehabilitative program.