Do you suffer from “The text neck” ?
When looking around your office, family home or even down the street, you’ve probably noticed at least someone with a typical hunched postural position, (it may even just take a glance in the mirror!) it almost seems unavoidable in the technological generation we live in. But how can the habits that mould our everyday life effect us? And more specifically how does the way we hold our head affect our spine and health, now and in the future?
When standing in a side view, your ear should be inline with your shoulders. To get in this position your neck should have a 40-43 degree curve slightly backwards. This natural (should be!) curve would provide a spring like support for your head. Having the opposite neck position, (typical when using technology) forward and straight, counteracts this support. Meaning your spinal joints, discs, ligaments, spinal cord and blood supply are under an increased amount of pressure. According to biophysics, this can be anything from 2-5 times more! Let’s take your head weight into consideration – the average head weighs 12lb, in a forward/straight position without the support it can weigh up to around 42lbs, which is almost 4 times what it should weigh! With all that added weight it isn’t a surprise to hear you’ll therefore be more susceptible to the good old fashioned ‘wear and tear’, neck/mid-back/lower back pain, headaches, arthritis, disc degeneration and spinal joint fusion. That’s without even mentioning muscle tension, ever questioned why you get tense shoulder and neck muscles? A reason may be due to your bodies natural ability to compensate. If your spine is doing a pretty rubbish job at holding your head up, your muscles will take over to help. They’re not solely built for this stabilising role so they have to work harder, creating more lactic acid and toxins, producing muscular knots and tension.
It is important to state that this process isn’t just related to the older generation – they don’t just magically wake up with these issues. The process can begin at any age. It is all dependent on how much stress your spine goes through, which is heavily increased by the forward neck position produced whilst using mobile phones, iPads, laptops etc. Yes, there can be reasons other than use of technology as to why the stress occurs, such as inheritance and accidents/traumas. But taking hold of the causes we can actually influence seems logical and one that will put us in a better position now and in the future – prevention is key!
To find out how to correct any of the issues above come and see me at the Better Body Group or call our office on 01732 451979
Exercise Prescription Specialist