Most of us are guilty of spending minutes on end looking down at our smartphones scrolling through Facebook or sending emails.
But could our addiction to technology be harming our health?
Area chiropractors, including Dr. Jason Yusavage of Yusavage Family Chiropractic in Olyphant, say there's been an increase lately of patients suffering from what medical professionals call "text neck" AKA "tech neck."
Essentially, it's a term used to describe the neck and upper back pain caused by looking down at our electronics ranging from a cell phone to a computer.
Experts say "text neck" puts pressure on our necks. Depending on your head posture, you could be increasing the weight of your head on your spine by an additional 10 to 60 pounds. This can cause long-term spinal health problems for children or adults.
Dr. Yusavage joined Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey on Wednesday.
The chiropractor offered tips to prevent text neck including ideas for parents since experts say it's becoming more common to see two-year-old children holding iPads and smartphones.
Tips to Prevent Text Neck from Chiropractors Nationwide:
- Holding cell phones and tablets in front of the face, or near eye level, while texting.
- Use an elevated monitor stand so it sits at a natural horizontal eye level.
- With laptops, we recommend using a separate keyboard and mouse so the laptop can be at eye level and still create a good ergonomic position while typing.
- Frequent rest breaks or some physical exercise that can strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles.
- There are apps that can give alarming signals to users to avoid prolonged looking-down posture.
- Put your cell phones and tablets down and take timeouts from using the device.
Possible Treatments for Text Neck:
- Massage therapy
- Laser treatment using a Class 4 cold laser
- Physical therapy
- Exercising and stretching
Exercises to Help “Text Neck”
- ROM exercises for your neck (flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotation)
- Chin tuck (wall exercises)
- Cat and cow stretch
- Downward facing dog yoga stretch
Dr. Yusavage says preventing text neck is key. Exercising regularly, cardio and strength training is important to help strengthen muscles associated with text neck.