Text Neck Treatment and Exercises
Over the past decade our Oakville chiropractors have started seeing an alarming increase in text neck injuries. Since Covid and the adaptation of at-home “make shift” computer work stations and the increased screen time for children, the text neck epidemic has gotten much worse. Text neck can be described as the forward position of a persons head while looking down at a phone. Unfortunately with Instagram, TikTok and YouTube this “anterior head posture” is have massively detrimental effects on today’s modern children.
Dr. Steve has had children as young as 5 years old come in to the clinic with the posture for fitting for an 80 year old. This ‘Mr. Burns back’ was not prevalent 15 years ago when he starting practising chiropractic at his Oakville clinic. Today, he sees patients daily in the waiting room, in the treating room, walking down the street, waiting for buses with posture so wrong its amazing the child hasn’t had a nervous breakdown….a nerve breakdown literally!
This forward motion of the head, the separation of the shoulder blades from the spine and the rolling of the shoulders can cause major health concerns to a developed adult – so imagine the effect it will have on a growing child. Today’s kids are playing less and devicing more. Their muscles are getting weaker and their posture is getting poorer. Do not let this happen to your child!
5 Minute Text Neck Exercise Program: Oakville Text Neck Treatment
What Is Text Neck
It is no secret that we spend a lot of time looking down at our phone. It’s all fun and games… until the neck starts to hurt.
The average angle of the neck while texting is between 37 and 47 degrees. Text Neck Syndrome occurs because every increase in the angle of the neck looking downwards incrementally increases the weight of the head on the spine. Research has shown that with the head in a neutral position, it exerts about 5kg of weight on the neck. If the angle of the neck increases to 30 degrees, the pressure exerted on the neck increases to 18kg. Furthermore, if the angle of flexion in the neck drops to 60 degrees, the pressure exerted on the neck jumps to a shocking 27 kg!
This big increase of pressure on the neck causes extra work for the ligaments and muscles. This causes muscular strain and inflammation. For kids, there is an added factor of head size. Their heads are bigger when compared to the size of their spine, and this amplifies the effect that a flexed neck position can have on the spine.
Text Neck Symptoms can include:
- Change in neck posture
- Change in mid-back posture
- Neck and upper back pain
- Jaw and TMJ problems
- Shoulder and arm pain
- Nerve referral into the arms and chest
- Problems breathing (especially with exercise)
- Increased levels of anxiety
- Shoulder blade pain
- Rib subluxations
Oakville Treatment for Text Neck:
One in every three patients that walk through our Oakville chiropractic clinic door since Covid have had some sort of computer or hand held device injury. Text neck is the most common cause of childhood pain and why parents bring their children into our clinic. Text neck pain is certainly on the rise, and we don’t anticipate the use of electronics disappearing anytime soon. For this reason, it’s important to be proactive in the health of your (and your children’s) spines. We treat Text Neck Pain with:
Chiropractic adjustments are high-velocity-low-amplitude thrusts applied through stiff and restricted joints to help promote full, pain-free range of motion. Spinal manipulation is also an excellent pain-reliever!
Soft Tissue Release (MRT/ART)
Muscle release techniques help to loosen tight musculature at the base of the skull, neck and upper back. This aspect of treatment uses muscle manipulation and stretching to reduce muscle tension.
Stretches and Exercises
Our chiropractors have created a program specifically for text neck! They have assembled a list of carefully selected neck stretches and exercises to help undo the stress that Text Neck posture puts on the spine.
Shockwave therapy is a modality used to help promote blood flow, break up tight muscle tissue, break up scar tissue and relieve pain. Shockwave therapy can promote the healing of injured tendons, ligaments and other soft tissues.
Contemporary medical acupuncture focuses primarily on the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. Acupuncture helps relieve pain and swelling, promotes healthy healing and alleviates tight musculature.
Massage therapy can help to relieve the stresses of everyday life. The benefits of massage therapy include improving relaxation, relieving stress and lessening muscle pain and tension.
Lifestyle Practices for Improving Text Neck
1. Take Breaks
Easier said than done, we know, we know. Our bodies were not designed to sit all day. The good news is that a 3-5 minute walk break every 30 minutes has been shown to ‘undo the damage of sitting’. Set a timer on your phone and make sure you take some regularly scheduled breaks throughout the work day.
2. Lift Your Phone Up!
Lifting your phone up to eye-level will result in a dramatic improvement in the health of your spine. Holding the phone up (instead of looking down at the phone) allows the spine to stay in a neutral position, and therefore takes significant stress off the muscles in the head, neck and upper back. It may seem unnatural, but so is hunching over your phone with a totally rounded spine.
3. Get Your Workspace Set Up Properly
Whether you work in an office or at home, the work station is a critical piece of the ‘text neck puzzle’. You need to make your office space work for you! Check out our page on how to set up a computer work station in an ergonomic and spine-friendly way!