Text Neck Syndrome
The dot com boom was sure a cease to new beginnings, to a more mature world we live in today. If there is anything we don’t understand we can dot com it. Yes, the internet has been a bliss and a boon but it sure gave an addiction to our generation. How often do we see two strangers chatting in the local train? We don’t, because we lean our heads towards our phones.
The constant and the continuous usage of the smartphones for texting, surfing the internet, or else been reported to cause a postural deformity to the majority of us without our conscience realizing that fact.
The Text neck syndrome whose primary cause is the excessive leaning downwards towards the phone or other handheld device or watching or texting over a longer time.
This is a lifestyle-related health condition and has several names including anterior head syndrome or Turtle Neck posture
The angle by which we lean towards the screen is the determining factor. For example, say we align the phone directly in front of eyes forming a straight line our neck being at 0 degree i.e. we don’t lean at all. As we bring our hand down towards our lap, the neck starts leaning forming an angle 60 degrees when the phone is near the chest area and 45 degrees when it is in the lap.
Another factor is the weight of our head. Our neck’s muscles and ligaments are designed to support head’s weight in neutral balanced positions but while we are texting, we bend neck for a longer time and stay in the angle 60 or 45 degree which ultimately weakens the neck’s muscle hence neck won’t withstand the pressure for longer duration causing the pain. Stress on our cervical spine doubles with every inch our head tilts down.
- Difficulty in mobility of neck and shoulders resulting in frequent neck and shoulder pain
- Postural deformities like forward head and rounded shoulders
- Neck pain often can turn into cervical radiculopathy.
- Blurring of eyes & Eye strain
- Medication can only ease the aches but can’t cure it. The only cure is the change in lifestyle and adapting good postural habits.
- Physiotherapist suggests neck mobility exercises to increase the flexibility and neck’s muscular strength.
- Prevention is the key. Try to avoid prolonged static postures.
- Bend your neck less and hold your electronic gadgets higher in hand
- After every 30 – 40 minutes, do neck and shoulder stretches.
- Reduce the number of hours spent on an average on mobile phone and other gadgets and give your spine a break.
- Avoid prolonged swiping and typing on mobile phones.