Does you neck ever hurt after looking at your phone? Well if it doesn’t your either younger or are not on the phone that much. However, for most of the population this is not the case. In fact, a lot of people are suffering from “text neck.” But this recent phenomenon is not only for people who constantly look down at their phones. It also includes anybody who looks or tilts his or her head down for long periods of time, whether it be reading or working at a desk.
This head tilting posture creates a lot of extra pressure on the neck as well as causing other problems. An easy way to think about this is that for every inch you lean forward with your head and neck you are adding an extra pound of pressure to your neck. Not to mention that the average head weighs 12 pounds that is always resting on your neck.
A lot of body pains (neck, shoulder, back) can come from this extra pressure on the neck. As the body tries to adapt to its new position and stress, the muscles that usually do most of the postural support work become weak, while the little stabilizing muscles become tight and irritated. All of which leads to new aches and pains, with headaches being the most common outcome. This is due to the head and neck being held up by a lot of small muscles that easily fatigue. Many people also squint or strain when looking at their phones, computers, or books which also tires the muscles faster leading to headaches.
The irritation of these muscles may make things worse by impinging or pinching the nerves that often run by or through the muscles leading to numbness, tingling, or burning down the arms or up into the neck and upper back.
This extra stress on the nerves also makes both the central and peripheral nervous systems work overtime and react as if you are in a constant state of excitement. This is okay for a short period of time but if not corrected or managed may cause fatigue, poor sleep, or illness due to the weakened nervous system. And as most people know the nervous system controls all systems.
Then there are the long-term consequences from loading and unloading the neck and upper back, which may include earlier onset of arthritis from constantly looking up and down at the phone, book, or computer.
Phones… they are a blessing and a curse. But don’t be afraid to get help! Clearly you know how to use a phone otherwise you probably wouldn’t be in this situation, so give us a call and get rid of the pain.