Texting too much is now leading to a new health diagnosis "text neck."
Action News Jax Courtney Cole explains how the position of your neck may be causing muscle tension and spinal pressure.
"For me, as a mom— I want to be healthy, I want to live a long life. I want to be there for them, I want to be there for their kids,” said Sarah Bonham.
That’s why Bonham says she takes “text neck” seriously.
"Text neck is really an overuse syndrome of the head, neck, and shoulder. Sitting and looking in a forward an down position,” said Dr. Austin Glennon.
"When that sits for decades, it locks in and begins to deteriorate...and begins arthritic and degenerative changes that can be permanent in the body." #NEXT on @ActionNewsJax at 5:55: The syndrome a local chiropractor says affects the posture of 90% of his patients: pic.twitter.com/gkGHH22G26— Courtney Cole (@CourtneyANJax) February 11, 2019
Glennon is a Chiropractic Physician at Path Chiropractic and Wellness in Jacksonville Beach.
Dr. Glennon says he treats everyone from toddlers to senior citizens for "text neck."
"Probably 90 percent come in with some type of postural deviation,” Dr. Glennon told Action News Jax.
Bonham told Action News Jax Courtney Cole she didn't even know she was suffering from it until she started coming to Dr. Glennon 5 years ago.
She told Cole she doesn’t think using electronic devices is the only thing that plays a part in her posture.
"Being a mom of three — and having three kids that are nursed and constantly being hunched over and reading and looking and texting.”
Bonham said it was the x-ray of her neck that really shocked her into action.
“Until he did my x-ray and showed me what a healthy spine should look like— and mine was completely reverted the opposite direction—that's when I really realized this was not OK,” said Bonham.
If left untreated for many years, Dr. Glennon said it can lead to back pain, migraines and even tingling in your fingertips.
“When that sits for decades, it locks in and begins to deteriorate…and begins arthritic and degenerative changes that can be permanent in the body,” said Dr. Glennon.
Here are a few exercises Dr. Glennon says you can do, in the comfort of your own home, to help fight “text neck”:
- PINCH YOUR SHOULDER BLADES BACK:
"[For] 15 seconds. Envision a pencil between your shoulder blades. Do that 10-12 times a day."
- STRETCH YOUR PEC MUSCLES:
“We usually tell people to just walk up to a doorway, put your arms between a door, and stretch your neck muscles.”
- SLEEP IN A GOOD POSITION:
“You’d be surprised how many of us are having problems with our pillows. So make sure you have the right stuff to sleep with…a good pillow and that you’re sleeping in the right position.
One thing Dr. Glennon advises against is popping your neck on your own.
“Popping your neck on your own is a dangerous thing. A lot of people think they’re releasing tension but as soon as you employ your hands, you’re creating movements in all sorts of directions in your spine. This could lead to more problems down the road,” Dr. Glennon said.
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