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5 Tips for Avoiding “Text Neck”

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If you’re reading this blog post from your phone, there’s a good chance you’re engaging in a serious but harmful position referred to as “text neck.”

What is text neck?

Text neck is a repetitive stress injury to the neck caused by holding your head in a forward and downward position for extended periods of time. While in this position, excessive amounts of tension are created in the deep muscles of your neck and across the shoulders causing both acute and chronic neck pain.

What does text neck do to your body?

Text neck compresses and tightens the muscle, tendon, and ligament structures in front of the neck while lengthening the muscles, tendon, and ligament structures behind the neck. Since the human head weighs approximately 10 pounds, for every inch your head is tilted forward, the weight your neck has to carry doubles and the strain builds up.

But since ditching our devices isn’t really an option, we can make sure to exercise right and practice good habits to prevent the aches and pains associated with text neck.

Follow these simple tips to avoid the aches and pains that come with the digital age. Your back and neck will thank you.

1. Take a break

Holding up your phone or tablet for extended periods of time can strain the muscles in your shoulders, arms and fingers. Let your arms rest at your sides every so often.

2. The 20-20-20 rule

Give your eyes a break! Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look about 20 feet ahead (or as far as possible).

3. Change positions

Try to avoid sitting for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Get up and walk around!

4. Aim higher

Raise your phone up closer to eye level to reduce strain on your neck. When watching lectures on your tablet or laptop, be sure to prop it up against something so your shoulders and arms can relax.

5. Stretch it out

Slowly turn your head towards your left shoulder, hold for five seconds and repeat on your right side. You can also download Straighten Up Canada! — a free app developed by Canada’s chiropractors with videos of stretches you can do to help your posture in just three minutes!

The only thing that’s more important than “perfect” posture is movement. If you still have pain and discomfort after trying these tips, visit Ajax-Pickering chiropractors Dr. John Noble or Dr. Mark Fera to develop a plan to keep you pain-free.

Did You Know?

Bending your head to look at your phone can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on your spine!

pain caused by digital devices

A 2014 study in Surgical Technology International showed that even a 15-degree head tilt adds 27 pounds of pressure. As we use our phones and laptops more and more, that stress adds up!

Take care of yourself.

If you are concerned your posture is suffering due to increased time on your phone or digital device, contact the wellness team at Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage.

We provide our patients with more than just chiropractic and massage therapy services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so you can be at your best for work or play, every day.

To book an appointment or learn more about the chiropractic and therapeutic massage therapy services available at our clinic, call 905-427-3202.

 

With content from the Canadian Chiropractic Association.

 

Strategies for Safeguarding Your Back While Camping This Summer

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blue tent in woods

Camping is a wonderful way to reconnect with nature, unwind, and enjoy the great outdoors. It offers an escape from the daily hustle and bustle of life, providing an opportunity to relax and rejuvenate. However, while camping has numerous benefits for our mental and physical well-being, it is important to be aware of the potential risks it can pose to our musculoskeletal health.

Let’s explore some of the common risks associated with camping and provide tips on how to tackle them.

Improper Posture and Sedentary Behavior

Camping often involves activities such as sitting around the campfire, fishing, or relaxing in a camping chair. However, prolonged periods of sitting in uncomfortable positions can lead to poor posture and strain on the muscles and joints. Maintaining an improper posture for extended durations can result in back pain, neck pain, and stiffness. To minimize these risks, it is crucial to maintain good posture, take regular breaks, and engage in stretching exercises to relieve muscle tension.

Heavy Lifting

Setting up camp requires lifting and carrying heavy equipment, including tents, coolers, and backpacks. Improper lifting techniques can strain the muscles and put excessive stress on the spine. It is essential to use proper lifting techniques, such as bending at the knees, lifting with the legs, and avoiding twisting motions. Distributing weight evenly and utilizing equipment with ergonomic designs can also help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.

Uneven Terrain and Falls

Campsites are often located in natural settings with uneven ground, rocks, and tree roots. Walking on unstable surfaces increases the risk of slips, trips, and falls, which can lead to sprains, strains, or even fractures. Choosing appropriate footwear with good ankle support and slip-resistant soles can provide stability and reduce the risk of falls. Being cautious, using a flashlight at night, and clearing the camping area from any potential hazards can also help prevent accidents.

Repetitive Activities and Overuse Injuries

Engaging in camping activities such as chopping wood, pitching tents, or carrying water can involve repetitive motions that strain certain muscle groups. Over time, these repetitive activities can lead to overuse injuries, such as tendonitis or bursitis. It is advisable to vary tasks, take frequent breaks, and perform stretching exercises to reduce muscle fatigue and minimize the risk of overuse injuries.

Inadequate Sleeping Conditions

Sleeping on uneven ground or in an uncomfortable sleeping bag can result in poor sleep quality and musculoskeletal discomfort. Inadequate support for the spine and joints can contribute to back pain and stiffness. Investing in a high-quality sleeping pad or air mattress that provides proper cushioning and support can significantly enhance sleep quality and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal discomfort.

group sitting around campfire roasting marshmallows

Like many other events in your life, camping can pose a number of risks to your musculoskeletal health.

We want to help out all our campers this summer with some useful tips to follow before you load up the tent and strap your canoe on the roof of the car:

  1. Test your gear to ensure it works. Before packing materials in your vehicle, test your equipment to ensure it works and do so safely.
  2. Plan for activities. Plan your activities in advance to ensure that you have the right equipment and are physically ready for the challenge.
  3. Familiarize yourself with your upcoming campsite. Learning about the facility and what is available to you helps you prepare in advance for what to bring.
  4. Make a list and check it twice. Preparation is key! Make a list of the items that you may need, but consider what is truly essential. Packing extra weight can put a strain on your body, so be discerning and keep things light.

Camping is a fantastic way to enjoy nature and take a break from the demands of modern life. However, it is important to be mindful of the potential risks it can pose to our musculoskeletal health. By adopting proper posture, using correct lifting techniques, being cautious of uneven terrain, avoiding repetitive motions, and ensuring adequate sleeping conditions, we can minimize the risk of musculoskeletal injuries and fully enjoy the camping experience.

Remember, taking care of our physical well-being allows us to make the most of the great outdoors while keeping our bodies healthy and pain-free.

At Pickering Village Chiropractic and Massage, we provide our patients with more than just chiropractic and massage therapy services, but also the know-how to build better personal wellness habits so you can be at your best for work or play, every day.

To book an appointment or learn more about the chiropractic and therapeutic massage therapy services available at our clinic, call 905-427-3202.