How many times a week do you feel repetitive pains in your neck, shoulder and head? There are chances you are suffering from Text Neck Syndrome. On an average, we spend 5 hours a day looking at our phones and not in the right angle. Engaging in one activity such as watching a video, reading or using social media for longer hours can have some health risk associated with text neck.
Symptoms of Text Neck
Frequent Neck, Upper Back and Shoulder Pain
When we tilt our head forward or downwards, it puts additional weight on the cervical spine. At a 15° angle, the weight is about 12kgs, at 30° it’s 18kgs, at 45° it’s 23kgs, and at 60° it’s 28kgs. This strain causes additional pressure and constant pain in our neck, upper back and shoulders. If this is not kept in check, it could cause stinging pain.
Staring at a screen in an uncomfortable position is not only strenuous to the spine, but your eyes as well. Eye strain is often related to blurring of eyes, dryness and lack of concentration.
Text neck can cause severe headache which could be a hindrance to your everyday life. An irritation in the neck can also influence nerves and muscles to the head. This could be a stress headache from neck muscles tightening.
Inclining your head at 60° is almost like having an 8-year-old sitting on your shoulders for long hours. This causes your muscles to weaken. Fatigue is also one of the symptoms of text neck.
Text neck causes wear and tear of the neck muscles. This can cause a problem with your posture, brain and spine. If you are a phone addict, chances are that this is already happening. If you are having dizzy spells, you could be at the risk of vertigo.
Tips to Alleviate Text Neck
Hold devices and books at eye level. This will not only relieve you from shoulder and neck pain, but it is also effective to combat eye strain.
Take regular breaks from your device throughout the day. Reduce the number of hours spent on an average on these devices and give your spine a break.
Practice quick stretches to release the tension from your muscles. Below are a few suggestions:
- The yes/no stretch: Slowly stretch your neck downward and upward for at least 10 times. Make sure you motion as far forward and back as you can comfortably go.
- Side neck stretch: Place your hand on your head and slowly stretch your neck to your sides. Practice this stretch on both sides for at least 20 times in a day
- Neck rotations: Ease your shoulders first, look straight and slowly rotate your neck clockwise and anti-clockwise. Make sure you are not to fast with this as it will not have any affect and could strain it further. Do this every half an hour for better results
- Shoulder shrugs: Lift your shoulders up towards your ears, hold the position for 5-7 seconds and release. Do this 5-10 times in a day.
- Exercises like yoga and Pilates are also a great way to combat text neck
Text neck, if ignored can cause some serious health risks such as cervical spondylitis, neurological issues, depression and heart diseases. Sitting, standing or walking in a slouched position hinders your lungs’ ability to expand, harming your lung capacity. Taking in less oxygen means that your heart has to pump harder to circulate more oxygen-carrying blood throughout your body.