Hold on a minute…next time you look at your phone just check your posture. You might find that you are putting an extra 27 kg of stress on your neck muscles and cervical vertebra.

New research has revealed that a 60-degree downward tilt of the head exerts 27kg of stress on the neck.   A mere 15-degree downward tilt of the head already exerts 12kg of stress on the neck.  You can almost compare it to hanging two and a half 5 litre water bottles from your neck!

 

What is ‘Text Neck’?

‘Text Neck’ is a new tech-induced neck syndrome.  It is used to describe sustained and repetitive stress on the neck as a result of sustained watching or texting on hand held devices over a long period of time.

 

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms can include the following;  neck stiffness and decreased ability to move and pain that can range from a general ache to a sharp pain in a specific spot.  The pain may radiate down to the arm or stay localised to the neck region.  The shoulder and upper back muscles could be tight and painful.  Often, tension type headaches can also be due to a ‘Text Neck’ syndrome.

 

How to avoid or manage a ‘Text Neck’?
  • Be aware of your posture at all times

Make sure your neck is not tilted forward while using your device.  Roll back your shoulders, straighten your spine, re-align your head so that your ears are in line with your shoulders and reposition your device so that it is at eye level.

 

  • Take frequent breaks

Move every 20 minutes. Stand up, stretch, take a deep breath and reset your posture.

 

  • Exercise

Moderate exercise helps to strengthen muscles that help with good posture.  It also relieves stress and tension that builds up in your body.

 

  • Seek medical advice and treatment

If your neck pain does not resolve in a few days, see a doctor and obtain a referral for treatment such as physiotherapy.  In most cases conservative treatment and management is all that is needed to resolve the pain.  The therapist will look at the causative factors, help you to change habits, do physical treatment to relieve the muscle spasm and pain and give you tools to help manage the condition.

 

  • Don’t delay management

It is better to get you neck pain and stiffness resolved sooner than later.

 

Physiotherapists at The Chiron Clinic Dubai.

For more information, follow the links: www.thechironclinic.com

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