Chiropractors in the UK Warn about “Texting Neck”Posted by in Chiropractic
As more and more people experience neck and shoulder pain as a result of leaning over mobile devices to type text messages, chiropractic medicine researchers have termed the phenomenon “texting neck.” People are also complaining of headaches and pain in their arms, hands, and fingers.
Leaning over a Smartphone, e-reader, iPad, or other device flexes the neck muscles. When this position is held for too long a time, the muscles become strained so that returning to an upright position becomes painful. This is because holding the neck forward requires more work of the muscles than holding it upright.
The University of Waterloo in the United Kingdom conducted a study of this phenomenon which was published in the Journal of Applied Ergonomics. Researchers evaluated 140 students and found that those who used mobile devices for more than three hours per day were twice as likely to experience pain in the neck and shoulders.
The researchers stated in their article that women and children are at the greatest risk because their necks are smaller and more slender.
How to Avoid “Texting Neck”
The British Chiropractic Association recommends that people take frequent breaks from texting and straighten their necks. The Association also suggests spending some texting time with the device held high enough that the neck does not have to bend forward. Exercises, such as shoulder circles, are also recommended.
Common Causes of Neck Pain
Muscle strain, such as texting neck, are the most common causes of pain in the neck. Neck muscles are easily prone to strain. The joints in the neck are also prone to degeneration during the natural aging process, so osteoarthritis is common in older people.
The discs that cushion the vertebrae of the spine do not receive a blood supply. Therefore, they become dehydrated during the aging process. As a result, the vertebrae in the neck can become compressed. Discs in the neck can also become herniated, which means that the soft material inside the disc bulges as a result of a tear in the outer layer of the disc. If pressure from the bulge is placed on a nerve, neck pain results.
Bone spurs can also develop in the neck when osteoarthritis is present. These spurs are bony growths that can put pressure on a nerve and cause pain.
Of course, accidents frequently cause neck injuries, such as whiplash.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another disease that is more serious than osteoarthritis and can leave the joints of the neck stiff and sore.
Chiropractic medicine in New Jersey or near your home can assist in alleviating neck pain, whether acute or chronic.
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