Technological advances have completely changed the way we live. For many of us, our phones are our lifelines, especially now that we are all spending much more time at home and away from the people we love. We use them for calls, yes, but they are also the devices we used to text, snap photos, check emails, watch YouTube videos, connect through social media, surf the web and much, much more. There’s a good chance you’re reading this on your phone right now!
On average, people spend 24 hours on their phones and mobile devices each week. Nearly 40% of us check our phones within minutes of waking in the morning, and a majority check them during mealtimes. While we won’t comment on what that means for our social relationships, it is important to talk about the toll these devices take on our bodies.
Hunching over a mobile device puts a large amount of strain on the neck, leading to pain. This is one of the most common complaints we deal with at our chiropractic clinic in Vancouver. It’s so common, in fact, that many chiropractors have given it a nickname — “text neck.”
Caused by spending prolonged periods looking down at mobile devices, text neck can be painful. We aren’t recommending shunning all technology to fix it, but we do recommend changing your habits to make a significant difference in your overall wellbeing and spinal health.
1. Hold your phone differently.
Simply bringing your screen up to eye level can make a huge difference. Stopping your head from slouching forward will put less strain on your neck and reduce pain.
2. Take a break!
Just because phones are with us all the time doesn’t mean we need to be on them all the time. If you’re having trouble breaking away, set a timer or use an app that will limit your time spent surfing the web, texting or watching videos.
3. Have a no phone policy.
Go a little further with the “take a break” advice. Do things that won’t allow you to look at it, like hiking or pursuing a hobby. Be intentional when you do use it, and remember what it was like to live before smart phones!
4. Make an appointment.
Our chiropractic team can help alleviate neck pain from too-much phone use. Make an appointment today (then take a break from your phone)!