“Text Neck” is the new carpal tunnel and occurs from hunching over and staring at mobile devices for too long. This type of diagnosis is called an overuse syndrome or a repetitive stress injury. The main issue with something like “Text Neck” is that it occurs so frequently, and often without us recognizing that it’s happening. “Text Neck” can result in chronic headaches, shoulder and neck pain, as well as increased curvature in the spine, which can lead to onset arthritis and even decreased lung capacity. Here are some tips to help prevent permanent damage:
- Dr. Dean Fishman, the chiropractor that coined the term “Text Neck,” ironically has created an app that gives different indications, such as lights or vibrations or beeps, when the phone senses bad posture or the angle of the phone is making you slouch. The goal is to keep your score above 85%.
- Yoga, Pilates and other forms of exercise that focus on posture and stretching are really helpful to relieve your body of stress from “Text Neck.”
- Adjust your computer, chair or the way you hold your phone to allow your posture to be better when using your devices. Bringing your phone to eye level as much as possible will help decrease daily muscle strain.
- Take time to stretch out your neck and shoulders throughout the day if you are working at a desk or in an environment in which it may be difficult to maintain good posture. Rotating your head side to side gently and doing stretches that require your shoulders to be pulled back are easy to do while at work or on the go.
- Lastly, give yourself a break if possible. Not only does staring at your screen result in muscle tension in your neck and shoulders, but it also strains your eyes. Take time to listen to your body’s needs and address them right away.