Physio: Texter’s neck an avoidable ailment

You only get one neck per lifetime. Take good care of it.

Texter’s neck is a modern-age repetitive stress injury, caused by prolonged and exaggerated bending forward of the neck while using one’s mobile device.

The spinal joints prefer to rest in a middle range, which can be referred to as the “neutral zone.”

Near the end range of a joint’s motion, increasing strain is placed on the supporting ligaments, joint capsules and overlying muscles.

If this load is brief, no problem — the tissues recoil back to their original length and all is well .

When we’re looking straight forward, the weight of our head, 10-12 lbs on average, is transmitted to the structures in our neck.

When your head leans forward 45 degrees, such as when you’re looking into your lap, this force is multiplied more than four times.

Hanging your head forward for long periods can cause neck, mid-back, shoulder and even jaw pain.

Over the course of years, it can lead to chronic neck pain and an increase in degenerative changes in the joints.

Surveys of cell phone use have found that women tend to text more than men.

Based on my clinical experience of 30 years, I see a higher incidence of neck and shoulder girdle pain in women than in men related to postural causes.

This may be a reflection on women’s occupational choices, as well as anatomical structure.

I see an alarming increase in poor neck, shoulder girdle and upper back postures in teens and young adults.

This could have lasting detrimental effects on bony and soft tissue structures.

Slender hyper-flexible individuals are more susceptible to this type of neck strain, possibly because they have less muscle mass for the length of their skeleton and can get into more extreme forward flexion than average.

There are some simple solutions to reducing the strain of Texter’s Neck.

Hold your device at chest level when using it, preferably with forearms or elbows supported, and incline your body slightly forward rather than using only your neck to look down.

Take breaks from looking down every four to six minutes.

Look up, relax your shoulders and focus on something distant rather than up close.

Breathe when reading a text. One group of researchers found that texters tended to hold their breath and showed signs of heightened stress when texting fast, increasing the tension in their neck muscles.

You only get one neck per lifetime. Take good care of it.

Just Posted

BREAKING: Evacuation orders and alerts issued for North Thompson

Some properties in Electoral Area ‘E’ and ‘J’ are asked to leave immediately

City of Kelowna water advisory expanded

Residents of Swick Road water system added to the advisory

Kelowna, what do you look for in a mayoral candidate?

Black Press reporter Matthew Abrey hit the streets to ask the question

Kelowna cops searching for Rutland toilet vandals

Thousands of dollars in damage done as toilets at Rutland Sports Fields are smashed

Huge new Kelowna food bank ready to open

Food bank officials promise a ‘grocery store-style’ expedience for clients at the new location

What’s happening

Find out what is happening around the valley this sunshine-filled May weekend

Unusually nasty odour repulses Chase residents

Village staff trying to get bacteria working in lagoons at sewage treatment plant

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Run for beer along Penticton’s Ale Trail

The second annual Penticton Beer Run takes place on June 2

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Hunt continues for two suspects in Ontario restaurant explosion

The explosion left 15 people injured, but all victims have now been released from hospital

Most Read