Whilst you are reading this blog, whether it be on your phone or laptop. Are you looking down at your device, flexing your neck forward, bringing your chin to your chest? If this is the case and you do this for long periods of time, you are more than likely causing “Text Neck”.

Text Neck occurs when we constantly look down at our electronic devices, resulting in the straightening of the spine in our necks over a long period of time. It puts tension on the muscles and also tension on the brain stem. Our brainstem controls the flow of messages between the brain and the body. It also controls the things we don’t consciously think of such as, breathing, blood pressure, balance, emotions and sleep to name a few. When the spine in our neck starts to straighten and the brainstem is put under tension, these can all be affected.

When the muscles are under constant tension, they start to strain causing tension – type headaches, neck pain and pain in the upper parts of our backs. When these all these symptoms start to creep in, they affect our standard of living and make it very difficult to get through the day.

Some solutions?

1.Try to keep all devices at eye level. Hold your phone up when texting (less screen time is always a bonus!)

2.Desktops at work are far better then laptops. If you work from a laptop, I suggest propping it up on something to bring it to eye-level. Don’t wait until it is too late to make these minor changes.

On a more personal level, my partners sister who is only 16 spends a lot of times on her devices and constantly sits in awkward positions. While on holiday her back seized and she was unable to do anything for about 2 days along with being in extreme pain. This is a wakeup call we all needed and shows the stark reality of Text Neck. To all parents out there thinking this sounds familiar, raising awareness in our homes and implementing a few of these solutions will help to create new habits which will have massive benefits as they grow older and will prevent a lot of postural related problems later in life.

Why not challenge someone in your home or office to implement these changes as well as to notice when your old habits creep in.

Feel free to ask us at Spirohealth how you can avoid text neck and correct your posture.

Ben Wells