Have you heard of Text Neck?
It’s a 21st century ailment that’s spreading globally and rapidly, and it’s something that I’m asked about daily!
I also see Text Neck daily and, honestly, it makes my heart hurt.
If you’re not familiar, Text Neck is a condition in which your posture is stuck in the position that you assume when you’re looking down at a cell phone, tablet, or other wireless device.
This happens to people when – you guessed it – they look down at a device too frequently or for too long.
I’ve been working in physical therapy for decades, and we didn’t have these kinds of devices when I started. People would have neck pain, of course, but not nearly as many people – and not nearly as many young people, in particular.
This is a real issue when you’re younger because your body will try to adapt, leading to early onset arthritis and connective tissue dysfunction. Your connective tissue will literally get and feel thicker, and if you feel this happening then you need to start changing your habits now before it’s irreversible.
So how can we treat and/or prevent Text Neck?
- Keep your cell phone, laptop screen, and other devices at eye level as much as possible.
- Don’t be on your device so much! Trust me, I get it and I am using my phone a lot for my business and personal life too. But you don’t need it 24/7, so turn it off sometimes and take a break!
- Be mindful of your posture. Put a note somewhere you will see it to remind you and use a wall for tactile feedback while you try to elongate your cervical spine.
- Spend some time strengthening your core, because if you’re stronger in your core then you’ll naturally give your neck more support.
- If you already feel a lot of tightness and thickening, you probably need to go get some manual therapy. Specifically look for someone who offers myofascial work, like someone who has studied Rolfing or John Barnes.