The Hex of the Text
I recently had a 9 year old boy brought in to see me by his Mother, who had been complaining of neck pain and headaches, which had been getting worse over the last year. On questioning him and his Mother, it turned out that he was spending hours after school and at the weekend playing games on his tablet and when I asked him to show me how he would normally sit, it was with his head looking down and his shoulders rounded.
Unfortunately, this is not the first case of text neck that I have seen. In fact, it seems to be an increasingly common problem amongst children and teenagers. One survey found that children are often spending as much as three hours a day in front of screens, be that watching television, playing games or using social media. The use of these technologies promotes bad posture, as children will often sit hunched over, or lie down in awkward positions to hold their tablet or smart phone. Over time, poor posture will lead to a stiff spine, particularly the neck, as well as tightening of the muscles. This will become painful and can lead to further problems in later life.
It is not all bad news though, the 9 year old boy had a course of Chiropractic treatment which has resolved his pain and he has been given stretches and postural exercises, which is parents are reminding him to do regularly, to prevent further problems.
Top Tips for reducing the risk of text neck:
- Reduce the amount of time children spend using tablets or smartphones - encourage regular breaks so that if they would normally spend two hours using these, split it up into four half an hour sessions, spread out over the day.
- Encourage good posture - bring screens up to eye level, keep your shoulders down and back, don't use screens in bed.
- Get out and about - encourage children to exercise - why not wrap up warm and go exploring in the woods!
If you think you or your children may be suffering from text neck, please call us at Afon House Chiropractic Clinic on 01722 820400 for a free chat with one of our Chiropractors.