Do You Have "Text Neck?"
While smartphones can help you succeed in business, they can also be a real pain in the neck. Literally.
Spine specialist and orthopaedic surgeon Chris Cornett, M.D., of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, refers to the increasingly common syndrome as “text next”—pain resulting from excessive strain on the spine from looking down at hand-held devices.
“People get so focused on these devices that they end up holding their neck and upper back in abnormal positions for a long period of time,” says Cornett in a press release. “When you hold your body in an abnormal position, it can increase stress on the muscles, cause fatigue, muscle spasms, and even stress headaches. With every degree of motion to the front or side that you move your head, the stress on your neck is magnified beyond just the weight of the head.”
And while most of this smartphone-related pain and discomfort will go away on its own, the long-term risks involving the neck’s discs and joints is still unknown. That’s why Cornett suggests the following ways to help alleviate or avoid “text neck.” And remember to also check out our advice on dealing with neck pain.
- Move the phone, not your neck. Instead of working on the device while it’s by your lap, causing you to lean your head down, hold the device at eye level.
- Take breaks. For some, the number of text messages sent daily reaches around the triple-digit mark. So be aware that you’re using these devices throughout the day, and remember—your phone can actually make calls, too. Make time for exercise. Having a strong, flexible back and neck will help you deal with abnormal stresses and reduce musculoskeletal issues.
For more work-related health tips, visit www.CorePerformance.com/work.