The Dangers of ‘Text Neck’ Syndrome

art-390-01Should you find yourself looking down at your phone for too long, lift your head up and give your neck a rest

Owning a smartphone may have enabled us to gain better access to the Internet and perform tasks that used to be done on a desktop computer, but there is also a health hazard from using too much of it: the ‘text neck’ syndrome.

‘Text neck’ is described as an overuse or repetitive stress injury that occur as a result of having our head hung forward, shoulders rounded and back slumped as we look down at our mobile devices for long periods of time.

The longer and more often we put ourselves in such an unnatural position, the more weight our neck has to carry, causing tightness across our shoulders, pain in our neck and at worst frequent headaches.

And unless we seek treatment for ‘text neck’ syndrome, we might end up experiencing inflammation of the neck muscles, ligaments and nerves, permanent arthritic damage, and increased curvature of the spine.

“This is very prevalent in our new generation of young adults who are constantly ‘connected’ to their mobile devices, even while walking,” Dr Tan Kian Hian, Director of the Pain Management Centre at Singapore General Hospital tells HealthXchange.sg about the syndrome.

Thus, overcoming ‘text neck’ syndrome requires lessening our muscular pain and focusing on maintaining proper posture and lifestyle before it gets worse.

Among the most common measures to overcome this syndrome include taking frequent breaks from using our mobile devices, hold our devices higher so that it is aligned with our eyes, and incorporate posture-focused exercises such as yoga and Pilates into our daily routine.

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