Dr. Dean Tapak, chiropractor at Performance Health on Dougall Avenue, describes text neck as pain and damage sustained from looking down at your cellphone, tablet, or other wireless devices too frequently and for too long.
“It happens when people are in a flexed forward position,” he said. “Over long periods of time the patient tends to develop stiffness, pain, tingling or even numbness in the neck.”
Tapak said the problem is people have poor posture when using their hand-held devices for hours at a time: the head flexes forward, shoulders tend to roll forward and the upper back is slouched. The average head weighs 11 pounds and simply flexing your head forward 15 degrees adds about 27 lbs of pressure on the spine — up to 60 lbs if completely forward flexing.
“This puts a significant strain on the tissues of those areas as well as the joints of the spine itself,” he said. “We used to typically see professionals who spent long periods of time at a computer or desk with this problem but now we are seeing younger people who tend to multitask a lot on their smartphones or tablets.”
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The Windsor Star