The world is addicted to smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. It is worth considering what this does to the body. Text neck is an increasing health hazard induced by looking down at electronic devices for long periods. Thankfully, there are ways to treat discomfort this condition causes.
Why Is This a Problem?
The human spine should be in alignment. When the weight of one’s head is bent over for extended periods, it puts undue strain on the cervical spine. In the long run, this can alter the alignment of the neck. In the short term, it creates a painful set of symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms?
The first symptom is usually a sore neck. Over time, the effects spread. The upper back can develop sharp pain or spasms. Next, the shoulders may begin to feel tight and painful. Finally, nerve pinching may result in radiating symptoms down the arms.
What Can Be Done?
- Ergonomics are key. When using a smartphone or tablet, simply raise it up in front of your face. This will prevent the urge to crunch the cervical spine downward. Try to apply the same principle while watching TV or using a computer. Even when sleeping, be mindful of positioning. Resting on one’s back can help assuage discomfort.
- Stretching is another excellent way to release tension in the neck. Simple twists and bends of the head can give muscles in the area a break. Many experts recommend taking yoga classes if the issues persist.
- Electrotherapy is another wonderful way to achieve fast relief from text neck symptoms. Check with your doctor about proper electrode placement. Then let your TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine do the work for you. It sends a low electrical stimulus through the painful area, which drowns out the pain signals to your brain. The result can be quick and easy relief.
A modern problem calls for a new set of solutions. Remember: mind your posture, stretch, and ask your doctor about a TENS unit to treat your aching text neck.