We are sure you have felt the soreness and pain you get in your neck after looking down at your phone for long periods of time. This phenomenon is known as “text neck” and has become very prevalent in recent years. In fact, it has become an epidemic.
Text neck can lead to immense strain on the spine, which may even result in needing to get surgery. The reason why something as seemingly innocuous as looking down at your phone can lead to a damaged spine rests in basic physics. Your head weighs around 5 kilograms when you are standing with your head facing forward. When you angle your head down at a 15-degree slant, that 5 kilograms becomes 12 kilograms. If you increase the angle to 30 degrees, this becomes 18 kilograms. Increase it to 45 degrees and now you’ve got 24 kilograms of weight on your spine. Once you tilt your neck down 70 degrees, you have added an eye-popping 28 kilograms onto your spine!
The way that so much weight gets added onto your neck is a result of you moving your neck forward while looking down. Additionally, your shoulders become rounded forward or they will raise up towards your ears. The muscles in your neck and shoulders will also tighten up.
The use of smartphones has resulted in neck straining that occurs repeatedly, every single day. Most people use their devices for hours, leading to aggravated pain in their neck muscles and shoulders. Even the back will start feeling pain in certain cases. Text neck is something that is even occurring in young children, although feeling pain from text neck will increase with age.
Depending on how you use your phone, you will suffer from greater or lesser degrees of pain. Ideally, you will want to keep your head aligned with the rest of your body. The more you change the curvature of your neck, the more it will hurt. As more time elapses, you will start to have more damage occurring to your neck muscles and related joints.
To get a good idea of how much strain you are putting on your neck, you can recall a simple formula. For each inch that you tilt your head down, you are doubling how much weight is being placed on the muscles in your neck and shoulders. When you have your chin down as far as it can go, you are putting around 28 kilograms of weight, as mentioned before. Research shows that a number of health issues will arise over time, including spinal degeneration. One issue you may not considered is the fact that you will be intaking less oxygen when your neck is tilted downward. This will result in your heart needing to work harder to move oxygen throughout your body.
How to Get Rid of Text Neck Symptoms
There are a few steps you can take to get rid of unwanted text neck symptoms.
Improve Your Posture
You can make sure you are standing and sitting up straight so that your neck is aligned with your body. You can look at yourself in the mirror to get a feel of what that looks and feels like. You may think you are standing up straight but may actually be hunching over a little bit.
Arch Your Back
Slouching the shoulders is a common side effect of text neck. That is why arching your back by performing shoulder extensions is a good idea. Pull your shoulders in to make them aligned underneath your ears. When you incorporate shoulder extensions into your daily routine, you will have less strain avoid the unwanted pain that comes with text neck.
Instead of facing down and looking at your phone, bring it up to eye level. In fact, any screen you look at should be horizontal with your vision. This will help you relieve the tension on your muscles that you would normally get from text neck.
Do Specific Neck Exercises
There are a few specific neck exercises you can do to relieve the strain you may be feeling. One of them is tilting your neck, along with your shoulders, back in an exaggerated manner. You could also do the downward dog, bow pose, and cat-cow yoga poses.
Take a Joint Supplement
Something else you can do is taking a joint supplement. Since you have probably been a victim of text neck for years, you may be dangerously close to causing serious injury to your spine. What you can do to protect, and even repair, your neck joints is to take the popular joint supplement called JointFuel360. It comes packed with all-natural ingredients like anti-inflammatory black pepper and turmeric, as well as antioxidant ingredients like resveratrol. Type II collagen is also included in this specially-formulated supplement, which can help repair and protect your joints.
If you feel strain, soreness, stiffness, or pain of any kind after looking down at your phone, you can grab an ice or heat pack. Apply it until your neck stops hurting. You can also practice some gentle stretching, like neck and shoulder rolls. Loosening up the muscles will help you release the tension that had build up over time. You can also remind yourself to take frequent breaks, or simply use your phone for shorter periods of time.
Text neck may be unavoidable if you use your smartphone regularly. However, you can largely avoid it if you take the proper precautions we went over. If you are already feeling pain of some kind in your neck, shoulders, or lower back, you may be dealing with a more serious case of text neck. Practice regular stretching, avoid lowering your neck in extreme angles, and make JointFuel360 a regular part of your daily health regimen. This should all prepare you for a life with minimal, or even no, text neck!