By Kirby Edwards
What is text neck?
You can probably guess. Yes, that's an overuse syndrome or a repetitive stress injury to the neck caused by looking down and forward for a long period of time, often at devices, often at our phone. The world we now live in is a very forward flexed one and our phones are a contributor. As a result we need to be aware of our lifestyle choices and postures.
When our head is in this position (forward head posture) it increases the weight of the head on the spine including the muscles, ligaments and joints. In a neutral upright position (approximately with your earlobes over your shoulders), the head exerts approximately 4-6 kgs of force on the neck muscles. When the head moves forward, the weight of your head increases. For example, when your head moves forward 10-15 degrees, the weight of your head increases approximately 6-10 kg. So when your head is approximately 60 degrees forward from the neutral position, it could add up to 25-30 kgs of extra weight and stress on your neck.
Due to the body being all connected and interrelated, this condition can be a whole body experience. Whilst it may mostly present with:
Other discomfort may also include
Overtime, excessive stress such as this can lead to the muscles at the front shortening and the muscles at the back of the neck fatiguing because they have to work extra hard against the shortening muscles.
To avoid or minimize the chances of text neck or injury:
What can an osteopath do?
Osteopathy is based on many principles. Some of them are that the body is a unit, the body has self regulatory healing capacity and that structure governs function. With this in mind, we can work with you to help improve the function of the neck and entire body.
Early stages advice may be as simple as hands on treatment and lifestyle modifications. Chronic neck issues may be coupled with further rehabilitation and it may take a little longer to recover.
As every person and their circumstances is different, your osteopath will assess and treat you individually. You will then discuss a treatment plan together that works for you. We will likely discuss some practical stretches, how to implement them into your daily life. As well as suggest some exercises and strengthening for you and maybe some tweaks to your ergonomics to help decrease it occurring.
If you have been suffering from text neck or any other neck pain, the team at the Health Management Centre are familiar. The team are equipped with knowledge and experience to treat any and all complaints.
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