Text Neck Syndrome - Is It A Real Thing?

Forward head translation caused by looking down at mobile devices can significantly overuse our neck, back and shoulder muscles causing strain on your spine which can lead to disc injuries and neural problems.

Teenagers Texting

Modern technology has improved our lives in many ways, saving us much time and energy. However, this has come at a price in terms of our health and wellbeing. Human beings have evolved over thousands of years to move on two legs and to stand tall and look ahead, which has given us an evolutionary advantage in terms of identifying and avoiding danger. Over the last hundred years, our lifestyles have changed more than in the whole of human history, with the technology revolution over the last 30 years making arguably the biggest change.

The problem is mobile technology (mobile phones, tablets, laptop computers) have made us more sedentary and holding these devices makes us move our head forward and downward for extended periods. This forward head translation can significantly overuse our neck, back and shoulder muscles causing strain on your spine which can lead to disc injuries and neural problems. In fact for every one inch (2.5cm) of forward translation of your centre of gravity of your head, the increase of weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds (4.5 Kgs)*. This means that the weight of your head basically doubles in terms of the energy it takes to hold it up for every 2.5cm of forward head movement!

Narrabeen Chiropractic forward head translation

This increased load of gravity can lead to joint pressure and mobility problems, muscle fatigue, neck/shoulder pain and even headaches and pinched nerves. It can also lead to advanced wear and tear on the spinal joints which can lead to early onset arthritis of the neck and upper thoracic spine.

So, to reduce the risk of long term damage to your neck and general health, follow these 5 simple steps”

  1. Hold your phone or other mobile device at eye level as much as possible
  2. Take frequent breaks from phone or laptop
  3. Set a timer to remind you to get up and walk around and stretch every 20 to 30 minutes
  4. Avoid looking down for long periods (look up and away from your mobile device frequently)
  5. Make sure you sit square to your work screen.

So while technology can add convenience to our lives, there is no doubt that texting can be a pain in the neck!

For more information, Contact Us or call 9913 9009.

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