Walking with chest in the upright position used to be a sign of manliness and strength in the past, but not anymore. In recent times we hardly find anyone walking with a straight neck. Most people are engaged in texting, using facebook, listening to music and using their mobile phones while walking. Their necks are bent towards their mobile phones. This problem is called “Text Neck Syndrome”. We will look into possible ways to prevent this problem, which has become quite common, in this article.
Who are most affected by this problem?
One in two people has this problem, which means 50% of the world population. It is quite common among the younger generation. As they are the ones who are mostly engaged in the Internet and using mobile phones. Studies suggest younger generation people spend only two hours of their waking time without mobile phones. They are engaged with their mobile phones for the most part of the day. This problem is also quite common among people who work with computers all day.
What are the symptoms?
- Stiffness in neck and shoulders
- Frequent headache
- Internal injuries in neck region
- Change in posture while walking, sitting and standing
- Pain in neck, shoulders, back, hands, fingers, joints and knuckles
What is the reason behind neck pain?
When you bend your neck down to 30 degrees, you increase the pressure and stress load on neck muscles by three folds. Similarly, when you bend down to 60 degrees you increase the stress load by nearly 30 folds.
Keeping your neck in these angles for longer time duration puts more stress on your neck and head. This also changes the orientation of ears and shoulders. As this transfers the shoulder weight to head, it leads to neck pain.
Continuous change in neck posture from its normal angle will block proper blood flow to neck and head. This leads to damage in bones, muscles, and neck ligaments.
Neck ligaments are similar to rubber sheets. When you put more stress on these ligaments, it starts to expand and become weak in the process. This can lead to many neck related problems at a very young age.
This causes more damage to C5, C6 and C7 bones. This will create more stress and pressure on muscles near these bones. Which can lead to many more problems?
Damage level varies with people from different age category. Using mobile phones, tablets, laptops and computers in the wrong neck position for longer time duration could lead to Degenerative Disc Disease.
Solutions to this problem
- Regular exercise to places that causes pain could give much-needed relief.
- Consulting a professional yoga instructor or physiotherapist and learning exercises that reduce neck pain.
- Wearing neck belt with Doctor’s direction if the pain is severe.
- If the pain has reached the very severe stage, then getting proper treatments from professional Doctor would be really essential.
Ways to Prevent
- Make sure the mobile phones or tablets placed in upright position. Meaning the mobile screen and eyes should be at the same level.
- Keeping the neck in 90-degree angle will keep it from all problems. As this keeps all the muscles from any extra burden and also ensures proper blood flow to neck and head.
- Take regular breaks from mobile phones, tablets, and computers.
- Avoid using mobile phones, tablets or laptops for a longer time duration while traveling. Or do not use it while traveling.
- Use a stand or table for tablets and laptops. Make sure their screens and your eyes are at the same level. This will prevent back pain and neck pain.
- Not resting the hands properly while using these gadgets can strain the shoulders. Make sure hands on rested properly in the chair while working. Use a chair with armrest and use it.
- Exercise the neck once for every one-hour time period. This will make sure there is proper blood flow to neck and back.
- Learn yoga and workouts that strengthen neck and back bones. For those who have neck pain, can do yoga with Doctor’s advice.