Text Neck Syndrome

Are you tired of sticking your neck out?

You might like Tortoises in the desert, but we don’t want you to look like one!

Text Neck Syndrome is an ever increasing problem today. Most of us suffer from this uncomfortable condition to some degree. Todays fast paced life and demands on our time drive us to become more efficient in communication with those important to us. Did you know the average head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds? Our spine neck and muscles are designed to balance this important part of our anatomy at the very top of our body as the master controller of our every move.

This is why our neck is meant to act as an amazing spring in suspending our head over everything we do. The repetitive body position of looking down at our phone, tablet or computer device results in an upper body posture that extends the neck forward as in the above illustration. The further our head and neck is extended forward and focused downward, the more our head will effectively weigh placing an unnatural strain on our neck, shoulders and spinal column as a whole.

Signs and Symptoms of Text Neck

  • Instant upper back or neck pain when using a handheld device.
  • Nagging or sharp pain in the neck or shoulders at the end of the day.
  • General shoulder pain and tightness.
  • Intermittent or constant headache made worse when looking down or using the computer.
  • Leads to posture problems and related health issues.

What can you do about it?

Get off your feet- Lay down

  • Lie flat on back on floor or firm surface
  • Place a rolled (FIRM!) towel under neck to allow neck to fall back into extension (chin up).
  • Bend knees and place hands at the side of body.

Now that I have your attention- Let me share the following tips

How do I sit properly?

  • Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don’t reach the floor.
  • Don’t cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.
  • Leave small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
  • Your knees and hips at a 90º angles.
  • Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.
  • Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.

Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.

How do I stand properly?

  • Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.
  • Keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  • Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward.
  • Keep your head level-your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side.
  • Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other, if you have to stand for a long time.

Correct Sleeping Position

What is the proper lying position?

  • Find the mattress that is right for you. While a firm mattress is generally recommended, some people find that softer mattresses reduce their back pain. Your comfort is important. (Pillow Top/Pad)
  • Sleep with a pillow. Special pillows are available to help with postural problems resulting from a poor sleeping position.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
  • Sleeping on your side or back is more often helpful for back pain. If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs. If you sleep on your back, keep a pillow under your knees.