Preventing Text Neck
Do you find yourself often in a state of looking down at your phone? Or sitting with your laptop uncomfortably slouched? Text neck, or commonly referred to as tech neck, is a common physical stress injury that we have seen more often with the increased popularity and dependency of smartphones, laptops, and other mobile devices. This condition is known as the “overuse syndrome” in the world of orthopedics. It can be very troublesome on your neck and spinal cord. Here are some tips you can use to avoid straining your upper body when using technology:
Make an effort to stop and stretch out your neck and shoulders throughout the day, especially when you’re noticing tension. Use this time to do some shoulder rolls, get up and walk around, and perform daily stretches. Being too sedentary for long periods of time can cause major conditions in the future, so keeping yourself moving is very important.
Pay attention to the level you are holding your phone or tablet. Keep it up at eye level to avoid you having to bend your neck down to see. If you sit at a desk, try to place your computer or laptop to be raised at your eye level. If you need to look down, look down with your eyes, and avoid moving your head. A human head weighs around 10 to 12 pounds. This is a lot of weight for your neck to have to support when it’s bent over.
Maintain Good Posture
Maintaining a good posture can be difficult to get in the swing of, especially when you are looking at your devices all day or sitting at a desk. Sometimes, posture can be remembered by the time it’s too late, and pain starts to be recognized. To avoid this, try to set daily reminders to stand or sit up straight. This can be done by a note sitting on your desk or even a phone reminder set to go off throughout the day. If you’re sitting at a desk, having back support or a rolled-up towel placed behind your lower back can be very helpful when trying to keep your back and shoulders remained aligned.
Keep a Healthy Device Time
It has been proven that on average, people spend up to 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phone a day. That is a lot of time for your neck and back to be leaned over a device. A great way to avoid the strain is to take some time away from the phone! Find a hobby that can keep you busy when you have moments of boredom, like reading a book or starting a puzzle. Schedule yourself “no phone time” to make it a daily habit of staying away from the devices. Try to make an effort to free yourself from the screen time.
Technology at our fingertips is a great thing, and it has made our daily lives a lot easier. But the ease of technology is not worth the pain and damage to our spinal cord. Pay attention to your screen time and posture, and follow the steps to have a healthier orthopedic life.
Speak with an Orthopedic Specialist Today
Are you suffering from neck pain? Make an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists today to start your healing journey. OrthoArizona has 21 offices throughout the Valley, each focused on quality care, compassion, and excellent customer service. Since 1994, OrthoArizona has been dedicated to compassionate care of the highest quality.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.