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Text Neck: A Frightening New Trend in the Digital Era

There’s no denying the benefits the digital era has provided for people of the 21st century. But too much of a good thing can have its drawbacks.

For the majority of us, we communicate via one sole device, the smartphone. A smartphone can act as your diary, your media centre and as our main point of contact for friends and family. As such, a number of notifications can be received on a device on any given day. Some of us may wait to read these notifications, but many will be keen to know what their latest notification is about.

However, what people may not know is that the constant staring at a smartphone can lead to poor posture, often known as ‘text neck,’ but what are the ramifications of this poor posture? To understand how staring at a smartphone can lead us to poor posture, it can be useful to understand how the human head works in conjunction with our spine.

The human head normally weighs around a dozen pounds, but as the head tilts downwards, more pressure will be put onto the spine. Of course, our bodies are very robust, so we can often look up and down with very little ramification. But like many things in life, overdoing anything can have an adverse effect on our health, and the constant staring at a smartphone can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, and even degeneration in some instances.

The reason for this is because the tissue is being stretched for long periods of time, which often leads to it getting inflamed and sore. In more serious instances, it can even lead to pinched nerves and muscle strain.

What Are The Symptoms Associated With Text Neck?

When it comes to text neck, many sufferers experience different symptoms. But it is thought that professional advice should be sought if you suffer from any of the following:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Pain in the upper-back area
  • Pain in the shoulder
  • An increased curvature of the spine

Can Text Neck Be Treated?

Although prevention is often preferred, text neck can be treated just like any other number of other back and spine conditions. A physiotherapy clinic will have a number of specialists who will not only be able to deal with the symptoms associated with text neck, but also offer treatment to help prevent any further damage to the spine or back.

There is no generic treatment for text neck, as people may injure different parts of the spine, or suffer from different symptoms. However, a specialist will be able to assess each person independently, and remedy the condition accordingly.

If you’re seeking treatment for the condition, it can be a good idea to limit the amount of time you spend using your smartphone. Of course many of us rely on our devices, so it’s impossible to cut out use completely. But notifications and updates from social networks and websites can often wait until we get home. While such a condition can be treated, we shouldn’t look to add to the damage already done. 

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