Sep
05

Social Media can be a real pain in the neck!

Checking social media, texting and emailing on phones are leading to a syndrome that many doctors and chiropractors are calling “Text Neck”

This describes the strain that is put on the neck while a patient is constantly looking down at their phone.

The average adult is spending anywhere between two to four hours per day looking down at their phone. In teenagers, this figure is even higher. This can mean spending as much as 1,400 hours per year looking down at a phone.

How our phones cause neck pain

Many people don’t realise the incredible strain that looking down can place on your neck. Your neck muscles are designed to support an upright head posture. Looking down at a phone or laptop for long periods causes the neck to strain. The further forward you bend your head, the harder your neck muscles have to work.

The average person’s head weighs 4.5 to 5kg. When you bend your head at a 15-degree angle, the extra pressure on your neck means that your head effectively weighs over 12 kgs! Now think about the angle that most people bend their heads too when looking at a mobile phone.

A man using his phone while waiting for a train in the Melbourne CBD.

When you are looking at a mobile phone, the head is bent at a 60-degree angle. That means that your neck has to hold up about 27kgs, more than five times what your head weighs when you hold your head upright.

How to avoid bad posture from looking at your phone

There are some simple steps to reduce the likelihood of causing neck problems from the excessive use of your mobile phone:

  • Make an active effort to use your phone less, including putting it away while you are on public transport, or waiting for short periods of time.
  • Use the voice to text function of your phone, or voice commands to avoid having to look at your phone.
  • If you are using your phone, hold it up to eye level, rather than down at chest height, or alternatively, keep your head straight while looking at it only with your eyes.
  • Use your phone for shorter periods of time, and use a properly setup computer when browsing the internet or social media.

Problems caused by too much mobile phone use

We often see people who have issues requiring myotherapy or chiropractic treatment as a result of excessive phone usage.

These problems can include:

  • Poor posture
  • Neck Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Headaches

A combination of Chiropractic therapy, remedial massage and Myotherapy is often effective at reducing these issues. Make an appointment to see one of our qualified therapists today.

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