Are you reading this on your phone right now? Better not.
The Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA) recently warned tech users about “text neck” or the strain to your neck caused by long hours of leaning your head when using your phone. With the Toronto area a hotbed for tech startups, smartphones and tablets shouldn’t be a rare sight. Yet, as The Star’s Nancy White writes, “neck pain is nothing to LOL about.”
Your neck connects your brain with the rest of your body. Subject your neck to excessive strain, and you can suffer headaches and pain in the upper extremities. Researchers estimate that text neck can exert as much as 60 lbs. of force on the neck at a 60-degree angle. In contrast, the average weight the neck has to support amounts to only 10 lbs.
Treating a literal pain in the neck calls for the knowhow of a Milton chiropractor. Depending on the diagnosis, your chiropractor may begin scouring the neck for any off-tangent discs. However, as the neck houses some of the body’s most important nerves, a chiropractor may simply suggest a series of simple but effective exercises.
Aside from seeking treatment, you might also want to change the way you use your phone. Instead of bowing to take a look at your phone, place it at eye level to reduce the pressure on your neck. Place your tablet on a flat surface, like a table, instead of putting it on your lap. If you find changing your habits rather difficult, make sure to stretch your neck muscles often to relieve the pressure.
A good rule of thumb is to rest 5 minutes for every 15 minutes of texting. If you feel the slightest hint of neck strain, level off immediately.
Moderate and proper gadget use is your best bet for preventing text neck. If, however, you are already suffering the effects of this condition, a visit to a Milton physiotherapy clinic such as Omni Health and Rehab Clinic should soon set you to rights. Your initial consultation won’t cost a nickel. You can also enquire as to which insurance carriers provide coverage for chiropractic treatments.
(Source: “Neck pain is nothing to LOL about,” The Star, November 18, 2014).
Dr. Anil Kaushal