Texting is a primary form of communication across all age groups. It serves as a convenient alternative to email or phone calls that facilitates quick and immediate conversations. The benefits of maintaining relationships are clear, but the potential damage to the body is not.
If you are experiencing neck pain or back pain, leaning over your phone for hours each day could be part of the problem. Texting too much – or using your phone too much for any reason – can create neck problems. It leads to chronic pain, back pain, and even headaches and migraines. With help from a Houston chiropractor, however, you can address these kinds of aches and pains without the use of pain medication.
Posture and Phone Use
Unlike sitting at a computer, the screen of which is often at eye level or closer to it, most cell phone users hold their phones in their hands at chest level and look down at them. This may not seem like a compromising position, but after hours of doing this every day for years, it’s possible to cause serious back or neck pain.
“After hours of texting every day, it’s possible to cause serious back or neck pain.”
On average, the head weighs around 10 pounds, and this is the amount of pressure the neck is used to sustaining. Keeping the head in a downward tilted position, however, can increase the stress on the cervical spine, adding the feeling of additional pounds of pressure to the neck.
A quick glance can create around 15 to 20 pounds of pressure, while staring downward in a fixed position for more than a minute or two can be the equivalent of around 35 to 50 pounds, depending on your overall posture and the incline of your neck.
As the neck is not used to carrying an additional 50 pounds on a normal basis, let alone for four hours a day, this can create neck pain that may be ongoing in nature. With the continual increase in smartphone usage, it’s likely that chronic pain will become a problem for many teens and young adults.
Symptoms of Text Neck
Text neck is often accompanied by various forms of pain throughout the neck and spine, including:
A general tight and uncomfortable feeling in the neck and shoulders
Nagging pain in the shoulders and base of the neck at the end of the day
Headaches exacerbated by looking down, including the increased likelihood of migraines
Pain related to the text neck may be mild at first but will likely become worse with time or as phone use increases.
Chiropractic Treatments of Neck Pain
For those with severe or chronic pain, a trip to a pain management doctor is often the first step of seeking help, resulting in things like nerve blocks or opiate painkiller prescriptions. However, new research indicates that chiropractic adjustments and neck exercises are far more effective for long-term neck pain relief.
“Chiropractic adjustments and neck exercises are quite effective for long-term neck pain relief.”
In a study of 272 patients divided into three groups – one of which attended around 15 20-minute sessions with a chiropractor, another took traditional pain medication, and the last was provided at-home exercises by a physical therapists – 57% of those in the first group experienced a 75% reduction in pain, versus 33% for those who took standard drugs.
At a visit to a Houston chiropractor, your doctor will assess your pain, determine the extent of the issue, and come up with a custom treatment plan that relies on spinal alignment to address your neck pain, regardless of severity.
Your chiropractor can also help you with exercises to do at home or at work to alleviate pain in between sessions. Repeated treatment by a chiropractor over the course of weeks or months can lead to long-term pain reduction as well as healthier posture overall.
Dr. Franson Is Your Trusted Houston Chiropractor for Neck Treatments