Living in the modern digital age, with the advent of electronic devices, the new “normal” anatomical position has become a head down, hunched position. These frequent and extended periods of looking down are causing head, shoulder, upper back, arm and neck pain, numbness, as well as a hunchback. This recent, global phenomenon is now referred to as “text neck”.
Gravitational pull increases the forces upon the neck. The further forwards the neck is bent, the more force is put on the spine. This artificially increases the weight of the head by up to five times.
The average human head weighs between 10 and 12 lbs, in an upright, neutral position. At a 15 degree tilt, the average head weighs 27 lbs, at 30 degrees it becomes 40 lbs, at 45 degrees it increases to 49 lbs and at a 60 degree tilt, the average head weighs in at 60 lbs equivalent due to the gravitational forces on the neck.
If left untreated, Text Neck can result in serious permanent damage including:
• Flattening of the Spinal Curve
• Onset of Early Arthritis
• Spinal Degeneration
• Spinal Misalignment
• Disc Herniation
• Disc Compression
• Muscle Damage
• Nerve Damage
• Loss of Lung Volume Capacity
• Gastrointestinal Problems
That being said, our neck is developed to bend forwards and using electronic devices is said to invoke the same posture as holding a book. However, spending long and frequent periods of time, head down, over an electronic device can cause musculoskeletal problems, with poor posture being linked to headaches, neurological issues, depression and heart disease.
Text neck commonly affects younger people in the age range of 18 – 45 years, although children as young as 7 are now developing it.
What can be done to help?
Lifting the phone up to eye level, so the neck is not bent down or just below eye level if that is not comfortable but using the eyes rather than bending the neck, to look down at the device.
Put the phone away frequently, so it is not in sight – out of sight, out of mind.
Get up and walk around every 30 – 60 minutes.
Stretch and mobilise the head, neck and shoulders regularly.
Strengthening core muscles will help to support the upper body.
Chiropractic Care, Physiotherapy, Massage, Spinal Decompression and Exercise for symptom control.
Be mindful of the position of the head, at the computer, reading a book, using an electronic device.
Sarah Dawkins, RN, BSc (Hons), MSc, Accredited Master Coach
Health Transformation Coach - Improving your health, naturally
Sarah is a Registered Nurse, Author, Trainer, multi-award winning entrepreneur and Health Transformation Coach. She has a plethora of experience in health and wellness gained through her many years in nursing and her insatiable drive to improve overall health through nutrition and natural means.
Her coaching sessions are designed for those who want to heal health problems without medications as well as those who just want to improve their overall health. Sarah’s 12 week on-line course, Healing At Home and her hand made natural and organic products, complement her coaching.
As a qualified DNAFit trainer, Sarah can help you to understand how your DNA affects your diet and fitness regimes, so you can achieve your best body.
Sarah has been a knowledgeable expert on the Menopause Weight Loss Summit in April 2017 and was featured in the Daily Mail, April 2017 and in Woman magazine May 2017, as a woman in her 50’s with a bikini body.
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