Have you heard the expression “Text neck” or “Computer neck”?
The news isn’t good either way.
If you spend prolonged periods keeping the same head forward posture in front of a computer, gazing at your mobile device, doing desk work or reading books, then watch out!
As chiropractors, we are seeing that prolonged periods where the head is kept at a forward angle has a huge impact on the cervical and upper thoracic spine. Headaches and shoulder pain are very common and so completely avoidable!
The weight of your head on your neck is somewhere between 4 and 5 kg. Bend it forward and the weight on your neck starts to increase. In a study by Kenneth Hansraj, the increase in weight was measured and it’s significant. At 45 degrees the weight is about 22kg. At 60 degrees it’s a whopping 27 kg. One expert has suggested that the effect is similar to bending a finger all the way back and holding it there for about an hour.
What can you do about it?
- Avoid holding your head in a forward posture for any extended period of time.
- Make a habit of looking up and around every 10 minutes or so.
- Use the “Brugger relief position” regularly
- Use a massage ball to relax shoulder and back muscles
- Make sure your computer is set up correctly. This includes children and teenagers.
- Try some stretches for your upper back.