Text Neck: Can Chiropractic Care Help?
Technology has improved our lives in so many ways. We now have cell phones with incredible computing power that we can access any time we want.
However, there are also downsides to technological progress. For one thing, to the casual observer, it would seem that we are much more disconnected from one another than we used to be. Many people have a very tough time conversing in person and would much rather hold conversations through impersonal texting.
Furthermore, orthopedic issues have also developed as a result of our increased reliance on technology. One such issue is a phenomenon known as text neck. Text neck is a problem that develops when people maintain a craned neck position for many hours throughout the day, for many days or weeks on end. However, we have a few defenses and solutions for the issue of text neck. One of the most effective treatments and preventative strategies for the condition is chiropractic care.
What Exactly Is Text Neck?
If you take a brief moment and picture the stereotypical texter, what do you see?
Most texters assume a very specific posture: phone in both hands, at roughly waist level, and neck bent forward at an extreme angle in an effort to see the phone better.
Maintaining this position for short periods is no problem. Our bodies are very capable of dealing with poor neck postures for short stretches of time. The problem comes when we are in these positions for many hours a day, every day.
Specifically, the text neck position causes the joints and muscles of our necks to be stretched in the back and shortened in the front.
This imbalance can cause symptoms such as pain, weakness, and inflexibility. Not to mention, this can also decrease the ability for the nerves of the neck to transmit and receive signals from peripheral structures.
Is Text Neck a Serious Condition?
In the grand scheme of things, text neck is nowhere near as serious as issues such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and others. Text neck is a musculoskeletal issue that can lead to discomfort and decreased function. However, it would probably be inappropriate to classify text neck as a “serious” issue.
How Is Text Neck Treated?
Text neck is a relatively new condition, as it only really developed alongside the advent of cell phones. For this reason, there aren’t a ton of tried and true treatments available for the condition.
However, based on what we know about the issue, we can reasonably use a few different treatment methods to decrease symptoms and improve function in those with text neck.
By stretching out the tight tissues associated with text neck, patients can often experience relief of symptoms. Stretching serves to lengthen tight tissues and loosen up structures that may be “stuck” in one position.
Because of the nature of the condition, many muscles throughout the neck and shoulders are very weak in a patient with text neck. Therefore, specific strengthening exercises can help these patients overcome their symptoms and improve their function.
Speaking generally, text neck is a posture-related condition. The patient’s posture is disrupted, leading to the symptoms in question. By retraining the posture of a person with text neck, many of the issues related to the ailment can be alleviated.
Chiropractic Care for Text Neck
By performing spinal manipulations in the right areas, chiropractors can help to improve posture and decrease symptoms in those with text neck.