Today’s blog is not so fitness orientated but more health and well-being. After a long discussion the other day with one of our tutors who delivers the Sports Massage course, I was left intrigued and interested in learning more about ‘text neck’.
The tutor was explaining to me how the number of clients he now receives via referral on a weekly basis with neck pain, poor posture and lower back pain which is a direct reflection on their way of life and lifestyle habits has increased dramatically over the last year or so. He was hypothesising that on the main reasons for this is ‘text neck’. If I’m honest, this was the first time I’d heard this term. He went on to explain that the convenience of smart phones has now almost turned into an addiction. As he said this we looked around the coffee shop, once an environment for conversation and socialising, but almost 75% of the people in there were sipping their coffees and strolling through their smart phones, either replying to e-mails, texting friends or on Facebook. Since then I have noticed this more and more in various other locations such as on the train during the morning commute, at work and even in the gym!
Our tutor went on to explain how changing your head position can influence the strain it puts on the neck. The further forwards you lean, similar to when texting on your phone, the more strain it puts on the neck due to the effect of gravity. Below is an image he uses during the delivery of our Sports Massage course to help illustrate the effects of texting etc. on the neck. As well as this he also discussed that prolonged exposure to this position can not only affect the neck but also the lower back as the constant kyphotic posture adopted when ‘texting’ will change and adapt the natural curves of the spine.
For those who know us at FLM Training, you are aware that we are geeks when it comes to anything related to health, fitness and wellbeing. So, since my discussion with the Sports Massage course tutor, I have researched text neck and done some reading around the area. It surprised me to discover that text neck not only causes lower back pain, neck pain and poor posture, but according to Dr Kenneth K. Hansraj who is the chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitative Medicine, ‘text neck’ can also result in Migraines, Arthritis & even Dental Pain. It has been reported that the Migraines cause by ‘text neck’ are excruciating and take a long time to ease. This mainly due to the build up of stress and strain and also the new posture adopted via habit.
If you suffer with neck pain and feel that you (like us all) are guilty of spending far too long in the ‘text neck’ position above, then Dr Hansraj has these top tips to help relieve the strain:
- Go for a massage (regularly)
- Exercise (focus more on posture correction)
- Stretch regularly
- Adopt a new texting style…similar to that in the picture below.