16 Tue

How to fix that “Text Neck”

How to fix that “Text Neck”

Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT, OCS, CKTP

 

It never fails, we used to have “Wii elbow” or “Blackberry thumb”, or more commonly, we hear about “Tennis elbow”.  Now we have “Text neck”.  But basically they all are repetitive stress disorders.

Anytime that there is an increase in a repetitive, abnormal stress on a joint, there’s going to be pain.  With this new disorder, “text neck”, it’s about the faulty position we hold our heads in while we work on the computer or smartphone.

The head weighs 10-14 pounds.  For every degree that you tilt forward, the amount of weight on your neck grows exponentially.  At 30 degrees forward, the head weighs 40 pounds.  At 60 degrees forward, it weighs 60 pounds.  And it’s that 45 to 60 degree angle that we tend to hang out at when we look at our smart phones.

Imagine all the times you check your email or Facebook every day, and how many hours that adds up to.  It’s no wonder why more people don’t have cricks in their necks all the time.

If you already have neck pain, you probably instinctively avoid positions that hurt, this fix will work for you.  If you’re having some discomfort, but not full blown pain, this fix is especially for you.  It’s all about alignment and finding neutral.

I’ve written about bracing and posture before, the same thing goes for your neck.  A loaded cervical spine (your neck), in a poor position creates abnormal stress and pain.  Fix your alignment and then lose that “text neck”.

First, sit or stand up straight with the bracing procedure. then align your head like there’s a book on top of it (an oldie but goodie).  Tuck your chin in so it’s not jutting forward, tuck it back like you’re giving yourself a double chin.  If it’s uncomfortable, back off about 20%.  That’ll be close to your spinal neutral position.  Then to look at your phone, screw your shoulder blades down and back and then raise your hands up in front of you with your elbows bent, and then look down with your eyes.  BOOM! Text neck abolished!

Try this out for 21 days.  It takes 21 days for a movement performed every day to become a habit.  If you would like more information, please call Professional Physical Therapy and Training at 973-270-7417.  Our offices are located within the YMCA locations in Madison and Summit, NJ.  You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to visit us.

 
 
Photo courtesy of patrisyu / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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