In fact, about 90% of American adults own a cellphone, 58% have smartphones, 42% use tablet computers, and 32% stare at e-readers. It is true: electronic devices are loyal companions for most people. Everywhere you turn, someone is looking down at their trusty device, reading the latest best seller, watching the hottest viral video, or texting to friends and family.Also Read ==> Pain Behind Knee – Causes and Natural Treatments
Whatâs worse is that people no longer just have these devices for emergencies only, but rather, they are an addiction. On average, Americans spend six to nine hours staring at a digital screen daily. I admit that I own a smartphone and tablet, and I use them for about six hours every day. I bet your situation is similar. But like most addictions, staring down at your smartphone is bad for your health.
The Dangers of âText Neckâ Syndrome
Donât believe me? In reality, 81% of cellphone owners send text messages. It has even lead to a global epidemic called âtext neckâ syndrome.
âText neckâ is a term first coined by Florida chiropractor Dean L. Fishman. It is a health condition that develops when you stare at your digital device for an extended period.
I recall a study published in the journal Ergonomics in 2013. For this study, researchers sent a questionnaire to 15,000 people between the ages of 18 and 65. The study found that 6,121 respondents experienced neck pain from daily computer or cellphone use. I have also noticed that my cellphone is also a pain in my neck.
Overt time, if left untreated, text neck syndrome can lead to arthritis, cervical spine damage, nerve damage, muscle damage, disc compression, and spinal degeneration or misalignment. Whatâs the good news? I have a couple effective exercise techniques that can help you prevent text neck syndrome.
Text Neck Pain Relief Exercise #1
In this first exercise, lie on your back and place two tennis balls or MFR (myofascial release) massage balls below your shoulders. You will lift your spine into a bridge pose, which will roll the balls back and forth. The technique will help decrease muscle spasms. You also work your neck as well. You can twist and move the balls from the back of the ear, frontal neck area, and the inner collarbone. Perform this exercise for about a minute for the best results.
Text Neck Pain Relief Exercise #2
The next exercise can be done right at your computer desk. It is the ultimate stretch break! First, push your chair out from your desk and gently put your hands on your knees. Take a deep breath; while inhaling, tuck your chin inwards and rotate your shoulders forward. When you exhale, move your head back, so that itâs over your shoulders; your shoulder blades should be straight. Repeat this exercise three to five times for optimal posture health.
Other Health Concerns with Smartphones
Text neck syndrome isnât the only health concern with digital devices. They can also lead to digital eye strainâa condition that can produce blurred vision, and blurry, red, or dry eyes. Electronic devices also damage your health from radiation and electromagnetic field (EMF) frequencies, which can impair the immune system, adrenal glands, and neurological function. It can also lead to infertility, DNA damage, and cancer.
How Else Can You Help End Text Neck Syndrome?
Some other easy ways to eliminate or lessen the impact of all that time using digital devices are as follows:
- Take constant breaks. When working, aim to take a break from your desk every 15 minutes or so, even if itâs just to take a short walk to get some water or do a couple quick stretches.
- You should also make it a habit to hold your smartphone at eye level to prevent your neck from any painful straining.
- Practice daily neck exercises, such as chin tucks and lateral stretches.
- Posture-focused exercises can also help relieve neck pain; try yoga, Pilates, or qigong.
- Regular chiropractic adjustments can make a difference for text neck syndrome pain.
Also Read :
- Study: Weâre Addicted to Our Smartphones
- Smartphone Usage Putting You at Risk of Serious Posture Problems?
- How Your Cell Phone Could Be Threatening Your Health
- Glued to Your Cell Phone? You Might Want to Put it Down for This
Sources for Todayâs Article:
Korpinen, L., et al., âSelf-reported neck symptoms and use of personal computers, laptops and cell phones among Finns aged 18-65,â Ergonomics July 2013; 56(7): 1134â1146, doi: 10.1080/00140139.2013.802018.
âText Neck: A Global Epidemic,â The Text Neck Institute web site; http://text-neck.com/, last accessed February 23, 2015.
âMobile Technology Fact Sheet,â Pew Research Internet Project web site; http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/mobile-technology-fact-sheet/, last accessed February 23, 2015.
Loughlin, N.B., âFix Your âText Neck,ââ GreenMedInfo web site, December 18, 2014; http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/fix-your-text-neck.
Zelevansky, N., â6 Ways to Relieve âText Neckââ Self.com web site; http://www.self.com/flash/fitness-blog/2011/10/6-ways-to-relieve-text-neck/, last accessed February 23, 2015.