Kids & Teenagers with Neck Pain & Headaches from Texting
As a massage therapist in Burnaby BC, I often treat for headaches and neck pain especially with patients with whiplash injuries and patients who work in front of a computer. However, I also find that more and more children and teenagers are coming to see me who share the same symptoms, and this is extremely troubling considering that these youngsters, if not treated, will develop chronic neck pain which will prevent them from enjoying the life ahead of them.
Unlike my other patients, these youngsters do not yet work in front of a desk for more than eight hours a day and most of them have not been involved in recent motor vehicle accidents. Instead, they spend six to twelve hours a day doing an activity a lot more innocuous, looking down at their smartphones and tablets.
Consider this. Imagine a 60 pound 8 year old wrapped around your neck. Now imagine having to carry this child around your neck 2 to 4 hours a day. That’s what happens when you bend your neck at 60 degrees at your cellphone or tablet according to research published by Kenneth Hansraj in the National Library of Medicine. I’ve been taught that the average human head weighs about 10 pounds, roughly the weight of a bowling ball.
As the neck bends forward and down, the weight increases dramatically. At 15 degrees, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds and at 60 degrees it’s a staggering 60 pounds, the weight of an eight year old. Now imagine a child carrying that weight around their neck for an average of 6 to 12 hours a day; the average child spends 6 to 12 hours a day looking down at a smartphone or tablet. That’s a whooping 4000 and more hours a year!
Risk of Chronic Injury?
Rock is more solid than water. However, with time, even a river can carve a path through a mountain. The same thing applies to the effect of gravity on the child’s head while playing Candy Crush on a smartphone. Playing it once will not cause injury, but over the course of many developmental years, imagine all that weight warping the child’s neck into a nightmare of chronic conditions as they progress into adulthood.
When to Seek Treatment
A child experiencing any chronic neck pain or frequent headaches should seek immediate medical attention. If the underlying cause is truly text neck, please consult with one of our many well trained physiotherapists, massage therapists and chiropractors so that we can immediately treat this condition and help your child look forward to a pain free future.
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If your child is experiencing any chronic neck pain or frequent headaches, contact Absolute PhysioCare & Sports Rehab in Burnaby, BC today to book an assessment.