EverFit Facts: 5 Ways to Avoid “Text Neck” Syndrome

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You might be wondering what exactly is “Text Neck Syndrome”?

“TEXT NECK” is a term being used for a common issue that has been occurring with the increased use of technology.  You might be able to identify the look of “text neck” when you see someone looking downward at his/her phone with the head protruding forward and tilted downward.  Depending on the degree of flexion, this action can apply 20-60 pounds of pressure to the neck and supporting structures. (see picture below)  This movement added to repetitive movements, aging, and sedentary lifestyles, leads to the postural muscles that support our spine to become weakened.

Text Neck Syndrome

Pic from:Dynamic Physiotherapy Solutions – http://www.dpsclinic.ca/why-does-my-neck-hurt-when-i-sit-sitting-sucks-pt-2/

As the muscles supporting the spine weaken (atrophy), the individual bones in our spinal column (vertebrae) can tilt, rotate or shift out of alignment. When this occurs, exiting nerve roots can be impinged, the soft gel-like tissue (Intervertebral discs) can become compressed, bulge or herniate into an exiting nerve root, or the individual bones (vertebrae) can shift out of alignment. These changes occur over time.

Symptoms vary depending on the above consequences and may not be noticeable at first. Muscle tension is frequently the first symptom and is often dismissed. Headaches, eye fatigue and back pain are often neglected and linked to other causes. Long-term effects can easily be prevented with proper care and muscular rebalancing.

THE GREAT NEWS!

The great news is we can always choose to be proactive and take the time to develop positive movement practices to keep our pine and body functioning optimally and reduce pain.

Here are 5 ways you can prevent “Text Neck”

#1 – Identify the Cause:

Do you or your children find yourself being your own pain in the neck?? Any activity that moves the head forward and downward increases the load on the neck area 20-60 pounds.

#2 – Awareness of Symptoms:

Realizing when you are moving the head forward and downward is the first step in preventing it. Symptoms include tingling in the fingers, weak grasping ability, shoulder and neck pain, muscle stiffness in the neck, upper and low back, headache, and more. . .

#3 – Strengthen Supporting Muscles:

You or someone you know might be experiencing text neck. Strengthening the postural back and neck muscles is an important step in alleviating pain by bringing the head back to neutral alignment. Read more . .

#4 – Adjust Reading Material to Eye Level:

Bringing reading material like books, tablets, and phones up towards eye level allows the head to maintain balance on the spine and eliminate pressure onto one specific area in the neck. Another great time to adjust your neck posture is in the car when driving.  Rest your head against the head rest and adjust the mirror slightly higher to create a need to sit tall and keep you head in alignment with the spine.

#5 –  Wear your corrective lenses:

Thrusting the head forward to see rather than wearing corrective lenses (glasses)  increases the likeliness of straining ligaments that hold the neck in alignment.  Take the time to get the correct lenses for reading and looking at computer screens etc.

Author Sue Stevenson has a degree in Exercise Science/Kinesiology and is a Certified Personal Trainer at EverFit Training Studio, Brighton Michigan.  She has over 25 years in the field and is a Corrective Specialist and Pilates Trainer with an expertise in post rehab exercise.  She helps empower others through education and specialized corrective plans to take action to help the body move optimally.
Contributions & Editing by: Beth Rzendzian the owner of EverFit Personal Training in Brighton Michigan, Brighton’s premier fitness and fat loss expert.  She is degreed in Kinesiology/Exercise Science, certified personal trainer, wellness coach, and empowerment expert.  If you’re ready to begin your fat loss journey please call 810-225-4529 right now to receive a complimentary fitness Consultation (valued at $59).
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