Have you ever heard the phrase “Text Neck”? Well, if you child has a phone or hand-held device I am sure you have seen it! Does this image look familiar?
This forward-head, slumped posture puts a terrible strain on the cervical area as well as the upper back and it closes in the chest region which results in poor posture and, over time, neck and back pain as well as premature disc degeneration. In today’s world we communicate constantly through email and text messages and this will only progress as technology continues to improve. We, as parents, need to set good examples as well as teach our children how to avoid lifelong pain symptoms from overuse as well as poor body mechanics.
Below are some examples of how to improve your and your child’s “text neck” to avoid pain:
Be aware: Be aware of your posture, stand straight and ask a friend or family member to give you feedback. Check your posture in the mirror
Take breaks from phone/computer usage and move around, roll your shoulders forwards and backwards, stretch you neck from side to side with short holds on each side, look over your shoulder as far as you can in each direction a few times….As a parent, make your child take breaks from the hand-held devices to move around and exercise. Set times on the device or kitchen timers to indicate when its time to put it down.
Hold the device at eye level, use your knees, pillows, a table or desk to maintain a “chin up” position to protect your spine. Give your children instructions on how to achieve proper posture with device use, offer them the pillows… etc.
Use a phone app that will alert you when you are looking down into the device. This is a great tool to use for both older and younger users. “Text Neck Indicator” and “Watch Your Neck” apps work very well!
Its important to be aware of and take care of our bodies! If you are already suffering from persistent pain symptoms or are looking for more specific exercises or stretches, please consult with a Physical Therapist! Aquacare Physical Therapy has trained professional staff on hand daily to assess your needs and have you pain free in no time!