ADLQ's Health & Safety Newsletter

October 2015 - Volume 1

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

  1. Introduction
  2. Beware “Text Neck”
  3. What causes “Text Neck”
  4. Is there a treatment for “Text Neck?”
  5. Need more information

1. INTRODUCTION:

Technological advances can bring unexpected complications for users.

As personal computers began to make inroads in the office environment, the occurrences of carpal tunnel syndrome increased due in part to poorly designed keyboards and inappropriate user posture.

2. BEWARE OF “TEXT NECK”

A similar phenomenon has followed the widespread use of mobile communications devices. The affliction has come to be known as “Text Neck”, and according to some physicians, is reaching epidemic proportions.

“Text Neck” is the term used to describe the injuries and pain sustained from looking down at wireless devices for too long. The symptoms associated with text neck are:


  • Chronic headaches
  • Upper back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Neck pain
  • Increased curvature of the spine
  • Decreased lung capacity
  • Early onset arthritis

3. WHAT CAUSES “TEXT NECK”?

This is a repetitive stress condition. The human head weighs about 12 pounds (about 5.5 Kg). However, as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree down angle, this weight is about 27 pounds (12.3 Kg), dramatically increasing at 60 degrees down angle to 60 pounds (27.3 Kg.) as seen in he below illustration.

This becomes a potentially debilitating burden on the cervical spine. In extreme cases, surgical repair may be required.

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How do you use your mobile device (phones, iPADs, etc.) Do you hold the device at waist level and bend your head down to read the screen when texting or “surfing”. If so, you may be among the estimated 58% of mobile device users susceptible to “Text Neck” You can lower your risk factor significantly if you will bring your device up to eye level rather than bending over to read it.
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And for those parents who have provided smart devices to their young children for Communication, entertainment or learning, this group is particularly vulnerable to spinal injury or distortion. Please teach good habits early.

4. IS THERE A TREATEMENT FOR “TEXT NECK”?

Treatment of “Text Neck” is about re-establishing proper alignment of the cervical spine.

This can be accomplished with a series of simple exercises and practicing good “office ergonomics” You must exercise proactively to reverse the effects of incorrect posture when using your device, otherwise the condition will only worsen.


The following series of four exercises may be beneficial. The basic movement is to bring your shoulder blades back and down during the exercise:

1. Prone Neck Extension:

Lie face down on the floor, arms by your side. Lock the shoulder blades back and down. Extend your head up to look at the ceiling (diagonally forward, not straight up), and then lift your shoulders, then your chest. Hold this position for 10 seconds then very deliberately lower the chest, then the shoulders, then the head. Repeat this motion for a set of 10.

2. Prone Arm Abduction:

Lie face down with your head and upper chest just off an exercise ball. Lock the shoulder blades back and down. Arms should be down to towards the floor with the thumbs facing out, the hands supinated. Spread the arms out to either side so your body resembles a “T.” Return the arms down toward the floor while still maintaining the shoulder blades back and down. Make the movement of the arms slow and deliberate. Perform a set of 12 repetitions.

3. Prone Arm 90/90:

Lie face down with your head and upper chest just off of an exercise ball.

Lock the shoulder blades back and down. Arms should be down to towards the floor with the thumbs facing in, the hands pronated. Bend the elbows to a 90 degree angle and then rotate the arms backward. Next, rotate the arms forward to the starting positions then bring the arms back down toward the floor, while still maintaining the shoulder blades back and down. Make the movement of the arms slow and deliberate. Perform a set of 12 repetitions.

4. Snow Angles:

Stand with your back, heels, and back of head against the wall. Bring the arms as far back to the wall as possible, so both arms are at a 90 degree angle. Lock the shoulder blades back and down. Slide your arms over your head, while never allowing the arms to lift off of the wall. Once they’re overhead, bring the arms down so the elbow are flush against your side, never allowing the arms to come off of the wall and keeping the shoulder blades locked back and down. The movement is slow and deliberate. Perform a set of 12 repetitions.

5. NEED MORE INFORMATION?

Go to the Text Neck Institute website text-neck.com. Get information on the Text Neck Indicator, a mobile app to help you keep your mobile device at the correct viewing angle.

We also recommend these informational & instructional videos:

Text Neck at The Text Neck Institute
'Text Neck' - Staring at Smartphones and Tablets is DESTROYING Your Neck and Spinal Cord!