Text Neck Syndrome

Believe it or not this is an actual syndrome, this term, text neck, was first coined by a chiropractor in Florida. It’s defined as overuse syndrome involving the head, neck and shoulders, usually resulting from excessive strain on the spine from looking in a downward position at hand held devices such as mobile phones, mp3 players, e-books and tablets.

I have written a number of blogs on posture and how important it is for those of you in office jobs to ensure you maintain a good posture during your working day. This issue is now starting to extend itself to all of us as we all increase our use of hand held devices and communicate by text.

text-neck-syndrome2Irish people are amongst the biggest “texters” in the world. According to ComReg (2012), on average, over a billion text messages were sent every month in the first six months of 2012.

Texting is now a more popular method of communication in Ireland than making a phone call.

The most frequent texters in Britain are 12-15 year olds, who send an average of 193 texts a week - almost four times as many as the population as a whole.

As result, people who are frequently hunched over their mobile phones are more prone to experience headaches, neck pain and shoulder pain.  The curving of the body to read and send text messages is subjecting people to these painful postural conditions.

FHP

The term Text Neck was developed to relate the pain to frequent texting. However, the condition has been around long before the first mobile phone.  The more commonly known postural issue, Forward Head Posture is as a result of us being bent over our desks to glare at the computer screen all day.

 

Young-People-TextingUnfortunately with the growing popularity of social media and mobile phones we are now not only spending 8 hours a day hunched over our desk in work, but also now spending every spare minute hunched over our phones after work.

 

 

 

Preventing Text Neck / Forward Head Posture:

I am seeing more and more people with this condition, call it what you like Text Neck or Forward Head Posture, it is a very painful condition that needs quite a lot of time and effort for clients to reverse. Below are a couple of methods to help prevent the development of this postural issue.

  • Modify the position of the device: If it is a phone try to hold it up at eye level, if it is a laptop in work again try to use a monitor placed at eye level.
  • Take breaks: Be aware that you’re using these devices all day so force yourself to take a break and to change or alter your position.
  • Physical fitness: Developing a strong, flexible back, neck and shoulders will help you deal with abnormal stresses and reduce postural issues. E.g. Pilates would be an ideal exercise to help maintain strength to help prevent  these postural issue developing.

There are a few steps you can take to prevent text neck. Regular physical therapy for any ongoing pain is also advised. In addition, to getting expert advise on how to prevent future pain, I would also prescribe quick and easy daily exercises. I also teach correct posture both for the office and how to carry yourself on a daily basis.

If you would like to learn more or make an appointment please contact me at Range of Motion Physical Therapy, Lucan Dublin.

 


Range of Physical Therapy Aug Newsletter

Range of Motion Physical Therapy Lucan
Pilates Classes

I have continued Pilates into August with a new 6 week block Wed 23rd July - 27th Aug (inclusive). I have combined the two classes to an 8-9pm class for Beginners and Inprovers. This Wed 6th Aug is at the slightly earlier time of 7-8pm.I am also working with Barefoot Yoga & Fitness Studio, as their Pilates instructor. This is also be a beginner / inprover class. Classes in Barefoot Yoga are not on this week w/c 4th Aug, due to holidaysSo now there is no excuse for not attending one of my pilates classes, class details below:- Wednesdays: Beginners / Improver's 8-9pm. Lucan Leisure Centre, Griffeen Park.
- Thursdays: 7:30-8:30pm Beginner / Improver, Barefoot Yoga & Fitness, 13 Millbank Bus Park, LucanIf you would like to get involved and build your strength, please contact me to book a place in a class.
Injury Prevention: Sports Massage for Runners With just about 3 months to go to the Dublin Marathon a lot of runners will be starting to focus on their marathon training. Most training plans will involve building your mileage gradually over the next 12 weeks.With that in mind, I wrote a blog on Sports Massage, why to have them and when to have them when training for a marathon. I also give some advice and tips to help prevent any sports injuries while training, it is important to build them into your training plan.To read more click on the link to the blog: Injury Prevention

Calisthenics

Some of you may have noticed that I have been playing around with body weight training, also called Calisthenics. I thought I would share a few of things I have been doing in case you would be interested in experimenting with bodyweight training.

Bodyweight training is actually hundreds of years old and is how the Greeks (Spartans) use to train before barbells and dumb bells were invented. Bodyweight training is resistance training using mainly your own body weight and gravity, as a result it is considered safer for muscles and joints to bodyweight train.

There is a lot of debate over whether you can build mass with just body weight training, personally I am not interested in that, I am looking to grow pure strength through a variety of exercises and avoid injury.

While researching Calisthenics I came across a book entitledConvict Conditioning, written by Paul Wade, he was an inmate in the US and the book outlines how he trained while in prison. The book focuses on 6 primary exercises e.g Pistol Squat / One Handed Pull Up, the book breaks down each exercise into 10 stages starting at the most basic level so anyone can try it.

Anyone who wants to train bodyweight does not necessarily need pull up bars etc, the basic levels can be done at home. I located a bodyweight training park in Ballyfermot (opp FAS Ballyfermot). The park is fantastic and has 2 full sets of bars and rings etc. I go to the park a couple of mornings a week and if the weather is bad I go to my gym and do the same work out using the pull up and dip machines.

Calisthetics is great fun and having worked out using barbells etc. I find I am getting more sense of achievement and satisfaction when practising headstands etc and actually progressing to be able to hold a headstand for a 1 minute.

If you wish to learn more please feel free to call me for a chat.

Range of Motion Physical Therapy Lucan