Dr. Robin Ellsworth
“Text neck” is an overuse syndrome or a repetitive stress injury involving the head, neck and shoulders, resulting from excessive strain on the spine from looking in a forward and downward position at any handheld mobile device, such as a mobile phone, video game unit, computer, MP3 player or e-reader. This can cause headaches, neck pain, back pain, shoulder and arm pain, breathing compromise and more. This position strains the muscles in the neck and the pain can go all the way down the spine to the lower back.
“Text neck” is not only appearing in adults; there has been an increase of kids with text neck symptoms. Doctors have started to see increased curvature in the spine – especially in children.
How to avoid text neck
Sit up straight with your chest out and your shoulders back.
Bring your arms up in front of your eyes so you don’t need to look down to see the screen.
Tuck your chin into your chest to look down rather than dropping your head forward.
If you must use your mobile device for lengthy typing, invest in an external keyboard.
Rest your forearms on a pillow while typing to help minimize neck tension.
Avoid using mobile devices while in bright sun light. Straining to see the screen leads to jutting the chin forward, shifting work from the spine to the muscles that hold up the head.
Dr. Robin Ellsworth is a chiropractor at Ellsworth Chiropractic, Granite City. His website is www.DrRobinEllsworthBlog.com.