Posture is one of the most crucial factors in spinal health. Being a generation that is constantly connected to cell phones, tablets, computers, etc., we see posture getting worse. Unfortunately, when we are continuously looking down at our devices a lot of strain is put on our necks as well as the rest of the spine. We as a society have created a condition called “texting neck” due to bad posture. Texting neck is a new word used in the health care system that is caused by looking down at our phones and causing strain on the neck and shoulder muscles.
In correct posture, your head should be directly over your shoulders with your ears lined up with your shoulders. In a normal posture your head should weigh about 10-12 pounds. As the head tilts forward, however, the gravitational pull puts more weight on the muscles and bones of your neck and upper back. Studies show that for every inch of forward head posture, an additional 8 pounds of pressure is added to your neck. The additional strain you can put on your neck by looking at your devices is up to 60 pounds! Think of it this way: if you were to hold a bowling ball close to your body, you would probably be able to hold it for a long time compared to if you were holding the bowling ball with an outstretched arm. This concept also applies to the neck. Having your neck flexed forward for the majority of the time causes your natural neck posture to be translated forward adding additional pressure to your neck and upper back.
If left untreated, texting neck can lead to a decreased neck curve which can lead to degeneration and arthritis of the spine as well as sore muscles and herniated discs. Degeneration in the neck can also impinge on spinal nerves that exit the vertebrae. These nerves control various organs and parts of the body. Impingement of these nerves can cause various symptoms such as: headaches, sinus issues, numbness/tingling in the arms, and much more. Fortunately, chiropractic care can help. The most important factor in treating texting neck is to improve posture. There are plenty of exercises to help you improve your posture. Head extension exercises as well as chin tuck exercises are two exercises your chiropractor might recommend to assist in restoring the curve in your neck.
The chiropractic adjustment is also important in restoring function and structure to the neck. Chiropractors are trained to feel the rotation and restriction in the spine through range of motion and palpation of the segments. The chiropractic adjustment will free the spinal restriction and open up the area where the spinal nerve exits to relieve impingement of spinal nerves. It is important to remember that one chiropractic adjustment may not relieve all pain. It may take multiple visits to help restore the neck curve as the muscles have been stretched in the back and weakened in the front due to the strain of looking down over time. Through a series of adjustments determined by your chiropractor as well as incorporating exercises into your everyday life and raising your devices when using them, proper posture can be restored.
Dr. Jeremy and Dr. Whitney are experienced in treating texting neck and assisting their patients with postural correction.
Call today to have your spine assessed! Earlham Office 515-963-6002 Or Winterset 515-462-4981