Text Neck – Fad or For Real?
Text neck, or tech neck, is a term that seems to be commonly tossed around nowadays. So what exactly does it mean? Put simply, it refers to the poor postures and positions that we put ourselves in when using our electronic devices. I don’t think anybody will argue with the increasing trend of technology in our society. However, I find that many people are in denial on whether or not they are guilty of the accusation of text neck and poor posture.
An Evolving Trend
As society continues to rely of technology, and technology continues to be at our finger tips, I believe that the ramifications of text neck and poor posture will increase. Just look around! Human beings, once thought of as social animals, sit in groups amongst each other staring at their digitized screens in silence. To make matters worse, text neck and poor posture is not limited to cell phone use. Computers, tablets, and even driving a car are all perpetuators of poor posture. The uses of these devices seem to have one thing in common, flexed postures. Flexed posture involves excessive forward head positioning, slouched shoulders, and a rounded spine (especially the upper back). These characteristics typically result in a common term in the rehab and fitness world, upper cross syndrome. The reason this posture is such a problem is not because it looks unappealing, but because of the ramifications it has on the musculoskeletal system. Our body was designed for a specific reason, movement. Continued slouching, regardless of cell phone use, ultimately causes restrictions in our spine and adaptive changes within our muscles. We often find that certain muscles become “tight” or “short” while others become “weak” or “long”. This is obviously an over simplification but the basic principles are fairly consistent when evaluating people who work jobs based around technology. Not to mention, these postural characteristics seem to be more prevalent in our younger populations. All in all, prolonged poor posture when using technology has contributed to us becoming an imbalanced mess resulting in neck pain, low back pain, and headaches.
So what can you do?
Well, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Frankly, the majority of us do. It is the product of our society, and as stated earlier, it’s only getting worse. Have you seen a teenager not looking at a cell phone lately? Neither have I. Without proper efforts to address posture in all ages, we may all look drastically different in our old age.
At Elite Chiropractic and Performance, we will assess you in a comprehensive manner which includes discussing your lifestyle and habits and possibly calling you out on your posture! Treatment consists of joint manipulation/mobilization and various soft tissue techniques to help remedy the effects of text neck and poor posture. Functional rehabilitation is implemented to further help balance the body out. We will design a personalized home exercise program for you to employ while at work or at the gym to help you maintain positive results. The ultimate goal is to optimize the individual so that they can move well and move often. So correct your kids, correct yourselves, and most importantly, get checked out! In the long run, your body will thank you. It’s the only one you have!
---M. Chris Collier, DC