Our Phones and Text Neck
The World at Our Fingertips: Limiting Nerve Pain due to ‘Text Neck’
In the past few years, the expansion of the digital world occurred at a record pace. With technology accessible nearly everywhere, many people are looking for instant information on their mobile phones using email, text, social media, and web apps. Daily use of mobile technology is causing strains on our nerves, tendons, and muscles every time we look down at our phones. The use of mobile technology has erupted and there are 400 million new mobile users than three years ago. “The number of smartphone users is projected to grow from 2.1 billion in 2016 to around 2.5 billion in 2019” according to Statista.1
Children are most at risk for developing various orthopedic injuries. From an early age, kids are given access to tablets, phones, and video games. While these devices can help preoccupy a child and provide parents with some time to get projects done, they also contribute to neck, spine, and hand injuries, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Even young children can get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This painful condition is a pinched nerve in the wrist causing numbness and pain in the fingers, wrist, and arm.2
The obvious solution to all of these problems and concerns is to stop texting and causing unnecessary strain on your body. However, if you do need to text and look down at your phone, it is vital to recognize poor posture and treat any aches or pain in your neck, back, or spine. If any of these symptoms arise, consult with one of our orthopedic specialists, and request an appointment online, or call 509-444-6325.
Tips to Improve Posture and Limit Pain
1. Provide Posture Relief
When using your phone or playing video games, sit in a chair with back support to maintain correct back posture, and help limit back pain. To limit neck strain, lift or prop your phone or tablet so your device is directly in front of your face allowing you to maintain proper head posture.
2. Take a Break
It is essential to limit the time spent on our tablets and phones. If possible, try setting a new goal each day to reduce the amount of time spent on social media. Keep in mind, every minute saved can help reduce the strain on your body. Apple has new controls for you to manage the time spent on each app and website. These features help you and your family find healthy boundaries for your devices and limit screen time.
Take time to stretch periodically. Stretching is just as important as exercise and can help prevent muscles from getting tight, creating chronic pain, which can last for a few hours to a few days, or be a problem that lasts for weeks or years.
Paying attention to your screen time and posture in your daily routine can help improve your overall quality of life. If you’re currently suffering from pain in your neck, back, or spine, schedule an appointment with one of our providers at Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists. For urgent care, visit NW Orthopaedic Express for specialized care when you need it.