What is Text Neck?
Text neck is the phrase used to describe the pain and discomfort that develops in our necks and upper backs caused by spending excessive periods of time with our head bent forward over smart phones or tablets. This can of course apply to laptops too if they are not on stands.
A study by a New York surgeon Dr Kenneth Hansraj demonstrated that the further forward we drop our heads, the greater the strain on our necks. Our heads weigh 10 to 12 pounds when balanced evenly over our shoulders but when we tilt our heads forwards the increase in force that translates through our necks increases alarmingly with each few degrees.
Try this out:
Drop your head forward about 30 degrees, visualize someone taping 3 bowling balls to your head, now imagine sitting like that for 2 hours. Can you feel the burn in your neck and across your shoulders? You’ve got text neck! If you drop your head to 60 degrees then that increases to the equivalent force of 5 bowling bowls through your neck. Now you understand why Dr Hansraj says “These stresses may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration and possibly surgeries”
How do you avoid text neck?
- By lifting the phone slightly and dropping your eyes instead of your head you can reduce the angle of forward tilt so reducing the stress.
- Use a stand for your laptop whenever possible
- Take regular breaks from the phone or laptop
- Exercise your neck regularly taking it through its full range of movement; forward, back, side to side and rotating to look over each shoulder
What if I already have pain or stiffness?
Take advantage of our 30 minute free consultation to get a postural assessment and advice.
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