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Heads Up: Can Looking at Your Phone Give You Text Neck?

posted: 01/31/18
by: Amanda Mushro
iStock
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Woman with mobile phone having pain in her neck - body pain
Woman with mobile phone having pain in her neck - body pain

It seems like we are more connected to our smartphones than ever. If you are logging serious time texting, emailing, or scrolling through your social media you may be paying for the convenience of your smartphone by putting your health at risk. If you find that your neck hurts or you often have a headache, you could have what doctors are now calling text neck.

While text neck seems like a silly name, it can actually be quiet painful and doctors say this aliment is much more common than we think. The term text neck refers to the bent-neck position that occurs when we are looking at our phones. So think about how many times a day you are looking down at your phone. This awkward position is causing many people to talk to their doctors about an increase in neck and upper-back pain.

So why would looking at your phone cause you pain? It all has to do with our big heads. Since the average human head weighs between 10-12 pounds, bending your neck to look down at your phone is causing stress on your spine. So your average sized head can actually feel like a 60 pound weight on your neck and shoulders depending on how you hold your head. When a person is looking straight ahead, the weigh is distributed evenly, but when we are looking down at our phone, our neck and shoulders are paying the price of our heavy heads. Since our phones have many of us looking down at our head--text neck has become a real pain in more ways than one.

Aside from never looking at our phones again, what so we do to stop or fix text neck? Doctors have a few solutions like holding your phone up higher when you use it, try to use headphones more to eliminate awkward neck positons, and see your doctor if you neck pain persists so they can recommend neck stretches or ways to strengthen your neck muscles.

See there's no need to break up with your smartphone just yet, and hopefully just being aware of how you hold your head can make a difference to cut down on unnecessary aches and pains.