You might have text neck

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Text neck is a term that has been coined to describe a forward-bent position of your cervical and thoracic spine, often seen as a result of frequently looking down while texting or performing other activities, such as using phones, tablets and laptops.

By Bill Bedford, Ferrell-Whited Physical Therapy Services and Bedford Fitness

While most of us have heard of texting thumb, the lesser-known “text neck” can be the culprit of neck pain and headaches. Text neck is a term that has been coined to describe a forward-bent position of your cervical and thoracic spine, often seen as a result of frequently looking down while texting or performing other activities, such as using phones, tablets and laptops.

Why is this bad?

The pressure from the weight of our head leaning forward can stress bone, ligaments and muscles by creating a bigger strain because it is farther away from our body’s center of mass. This extra strain can increase tension on the bone and muscle causing headaches and tightness and pain in your neck and upper back, even leading to changes in your bony structure at vertebral joints.

And as we age and deal with arthritic and degenerative disc issues, the available space for nerves to exit the spine becomes more limited, which is then further complicated by abnormally forward postural positions.

Even if you are not having pain yet, there are ways to improve your posture. Here are three things you can do to avoid text neck:

  • Adjust your workspace and the body positions in which you utilize your tech devices to promote a more upright body position
  • Strengthen your neck and mid-back muscles with exercises
  • Stretch your pectoral muscles

An assessment by our physical therapist followed by postural stretching and strengthening exercises, as well as hands-on trigger point release techniques, will help you prevent posture-related issues.

We offer the convenience of physical therapy, fitness training and massage all in one location to help you stay vibrant and healthy.

For more information, call 440-973-4950 or visit BedfordPTFit.com. Ferrell-Whited Physical Therapy Services and Bedford Fitness are located at 2 Berea Commons, Suite 10, in Berea.