Text neck: What is it and how can it be prevented?

Text neck: What is it and how can it be prevented?

Modern technology gives us many conveniences in our daily lives, but our devices — such as smartphones, tablets and computers — can also be the cause of some not-so-convenient and uncomfortable ailments. “Text neck" is one of them.

Hunching over your device for long periods of time can lead to neck strain, pain and headaches. It can also cause tightness and pain or discomfort in the shoulders, arms and hands — all symptoms of text neck. Looking down at your digital device too frequently could also result in a pinched cervical nerve, which may radiate pain and even numbness down your arm and into your hand.

Whether you’re using your device for work or for catching some Pokémon, here are a few tips to help you avoid this all-too-common condition.

Take frequent breaks. Put your device down and give your neck some relief. Spend some time looking up and around you, straightening your posture and relieving the pressure in your neck and shoulders. Give yourself a break every 20 to 30 minutes and take some time to complete a task around the house or get up and walk around.

Watch your posture. Keeping your spine and neck in proper alignment by maintaining good posture helps prevent unnecessary strain on your shoulders and neck that occurs when you sit hunched over.

Hold your phone at eye level. Try to avoid looking down at your phone. Instead, hold your phone up to eye level to keep your head and neck in alignment with your spine. The same rule applies to other digital devices, including your computer. Position all devices at eye level so you don’t have to bend down and forward to view them.

Stretch. Rolling your neck and rotating your shoulders can help stretch the muscles and relieve tension that builds up during extended use of devices.

Work your abs. A strong core is essential for supporting the weight of your upper body, including your neck. Do specific exercises to target your abdominal and lower back muscles and keep them tight and strong.

If you suffer from persistent discomfort or pain in your neck or shoulders, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Chronic pain may require more advanced treatment. The experts at Goshen Hospital Pain Management are specially trained to treat all types of pain and can provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan to meet your specific needs. For more information, call 574-364-2555.

 

Posted: 8/29/2016 by Goshen Health
Filed under: exercise, fitness, fitness and exercise, wellness awareness

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