Staring at mobile phones strains necks, chiropractors warn
Condition known as 'text neck' comes after hours of staring down at a mobile device
Chiropractors in Windsor-Essex are sounding the alarm over a condition called text neck, which comes after people repeatedly turn their heads down to look at their cellphones.
Just the pressure from that action alone could put nearly 30 kilograms of pressure on a person's spine.
"It can lead to pain and chronic tissue tightness," said Krista Revenberg, a chiropractor in Lakeshore. "The biggest thing is that a lot of people don't even notice it's happening."
With more Canadians going mobile — nearly 29 million Canadians owned a cellphone in 2014, according to the CRTC — text neck is increasing, Revenberg said.
"They get in that position and they'll be in it all day long, it becomes more of your norm. You're not even realizing the changes that are happening," she said.
She said she sees this in patients of all ages, especially in the fall as school starts. The recent Pokemon Go craze also had a hand in making more people feel the sting from staring down at a phone screen.
Rahul Kumar, 22, is a student at the University of Windsor. He said he knows about text neck since he gets it fairly often.
"I've been feeling this pain after using my phone for more than two-and-a-half hours. It sometimes gives me a pain in my neck," Kumar said. "It really irritates, but we can't do anything. It's important to text in this modern world."
Kumar says he tries calling when he begins feeling text neck but it's difficult because keeping in contact is important.
Here are some suggestions from Revenberg on how to avoid text neck:
Take a break
Follow the 20-20-20 rule, looking 20 feet ahead for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
Take a break from the position you're in. Change your position.
With files from Jason Viau