Text Neck – What is it and Why should I Care?
Are you or your kids constantly using electronic devices, like your phone? Are you using these devices as a distraction tool for yourself or your kids? Are you possibly reading this while hiding in your bathroom stalls at work so you can get an extra five minutes away from your desk (sorry if we caught you!).
One thing to be aware of in these modern times is what is referred to as Text Neck or Tech Neck – which is the aggravation and pain that can occur from looking down at your phone or other devices. Because of social norms and popularity, kids today are beginning to suffer from Text Neck and back problems earlier – including sensations of numbness and tingling down their arms!
While we don’t know all of the long-term effects of Text Neck, a recent study has shown that due to constant technology use, kids are starting to show growths on the backs of their skulls that look like horns! These “horns” are actually fragments of cartilage and bone forming on the muscles and ligaments connecting your skull to your neck. Because you neck muscles are working so much harder to support your head while you look down, they are adapting (and not in a good way)! You can read the study here. Mulhall Family Chiropractic is also starting to see these “horns” in some of their most recent patient x- rays.
Ron’s Success Story:
As a college student and avid gamer I began to experience a sharp pain in my neck that eventually never went away. The pain was interfering with my school work and social life. My medical doctor suggested aspirin and some neck stretches, which really didn’t work. My mom suggested I see Dr. Mulhall-Wright, D.C. for an opinion and examination.
The exam was awesome! I have never had a doctor listen so intently or have such a hands-on approach during the exam. Sure I was skeptical, but after my first treatment I felt so much relief. Dr. Mulhall-Wright, D.C. explained how constantly using my electronics was affecting my neck and that she had a solution! Nice. Dr. Mulhall helped me understand the difference between symptom chiropractic care and functional chiropractic care and how both affected my body.
After a few weeks of adjustments to my spine and neck, and some home care of exercise and stretching, I’m happy to say that my pain has decreased significantly. I’ve learned about balance between computer use and other activities. Thanks Dr. Mulhall-Wright, D.C.!
There are multiple things that can be done to reduce to problems associated with Text Neck – the first (and easiest) solution is to cut down on your screen time. This is especially important for kids with sensory processing disorders, as their brains can be affected significantly more than the average child. When you do use your phone, try holding it at eye level by lifting your arms up, instead of bringing your head down (two-for-one bonus: your arms will increase in strength by doing this, and your neck muscles will relax).
Most importantly, make sure to come in for regular adjustments with your chiropractor – by removing interference from your nervous system, your body will be better able to adapt by turning on the proper muscles in your neck, and by creating a better structural and functional foundation for your body.
Phone the office today for a free phone consultation, or to schedule your initial exam! If you are not close to our office, we would also be happy to refer you to a chiropractor we love in your area!
Want to learn more? Here is the study looking at the “horns” in kids:
Shahar D, Sayers MGL. A morphological adaptation? The prevalence of enlarged external occipital protuberance in young adults. Journal of Anatomy. 2016;229(2):286–91.