Chiropractors warn ‘text neck’ incidences on the rise+
Society can add another ailment to the growing list of problems associated with using text messaging. Chiropractors are warning of a condition on the rise that they are calling “text neck”.
Text neck is caused by keeping the neck flexed for long periods of time, which often occurs when texting obsessively throughout the day. The positioning people use when sending text messages is generally a down gaze with the neck flexed to make the head look down. It’s not just texting either, sufferers who generally get this ailment may be spending too much times on other gadgets, such as iPads.
MSNBC’s Today Health reports, “This is a global epidemic,” says Richard Schwartz, a chiropractor who practices at the Advanced Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Ambler, Pa., Horsham, Pa Glenside, Pa.
“It’s starting younger and younger. There are more than six billion phones connected, and that’s not counting the Kindles, iPads, tablets and all these devices we rely on daily,” adding, “Go outside, to a restaurant, the supermarket, a gym, the airport and notice the posture of almost everyone around you. You will see this everywhere, and now multiply that by every city in the world.”
Schwartz noted 45 percent of his patients have the same complaint and all are connected to the positioning used when looking down at various forms of screens or gadgets.
The Telegraph reports, Rachael Lancaster, of Freedom Back Clinics in Leeds, said,
“Sufferers are increasing as the use of smart phones and tablet computers become more popular.”
Lancaster relates this to joints and tissues in the neck not “built” to handle being flexed for extended periods of time. Lancaster stated, “Imagine sitting on your ankle sideways for 10 minutes. It would feel stiff and sore when you returned it to its natural position,” adding, “That is exactly what people are doing with their necks. If people continue to put their necks in these positions, the body will gradually adapt to the stresses.” Another concern is the natural curvature of the neck reversing. Chiropractors are warning this can lead to other health issues such as headaches and other body pains in shoulders, arms and wrists. Over the long term experts are warning this could lead to permanent arthritic damage. Health experts are indicating that “text neck” can be mitigated by taking breaks and allowing the neck to sit in its natural positioning, and also repositioning the phone to be higher can help too. Additionally getting enough regular exercise might also help reduce the risks associated with text neck. Over the years since computers have become a part of daily life for a couple of decades now, ailments such as carpal tunnel syndrome, have been associated with heavy use. Being texting is relatively new in the scale of technology; there is perhaps not enough data to provide a rounded scenario of the long-term effects; however doctors appear to be reporting increased incidences of body pains related to technology. Now “text neck” can be added to the list. The medical community has long been concerned about the ill-health effects often linked to texting.
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