According to a recent article from the Nerve Health Institute, text neck may negatively influence your child’s growth. This is not a surprising conclusion when you consider texting statistics in young people. In fact, some studies have found that the average American adolescent may spend up to 9 hours per day texting or hovering over their phones. If these children are sleeping eight hours per night, that means they are only spending approximately seven hours per day away from their cell phones.
As an Orange County chiropractor, I have seen an increase in adolescent patients with overlapping symptoms. These symptoms equate to text neck more often now than in the past. Technology-induced pain, in fact, is on the rise.
The pain associated with text neck may begin with a headache, backache or neck and shoulder pain. Unfortunately, these types of aches are often dismissed as growing pains, which is understandable. However, when the aches subside, your child can be left with a growth-related issue that you may not have considered.
How Text Neck Leads To Growth Issues
The current generation has no experience with life prior to on-the-go technology, which means they may spend their growing years hovered over a cell phones or other texting devices. Adults, on the other hand, completed their growth cycles prior to the tech explosion.
In the early to mid-2000s, many school districts advised students to leave their technology at home or in their backpacks. But over the last few years, technology has become the hub of communication and more. A cursory glance at the average cell phone is like a diary into the life of your child. A cursory glance and you discover that your child spends more time texting than speaking, more time texting—hovering over a device—than standing up right.
This is why text neck can lead to growth issues in your child. It’s not that the spine stops growing because your child is texting; it’s that the spine is not growing straight. The spine, in fact, is being trained into misalignment.
Think of the spine like a plant. If you use wedges to force your plants to grow in sideways, they will grow in sideways. They are not necessarily shorter than your other plants, but it appears as if they are.
The spine is similar, but with a consequence not found in plants—a spine growing out of alignment can cause serious pain issues down the road.
How To Help Your Child’s Growth
It is important to encourage exercise and limit technology use. This is not easy when you send your child into the world with a personal cell phone. However, there are apps you can utilize that limits texting.
Also, if your child complains about headaches, backaches, neck or shoulder pain, it’s important to have their spine assessed by a chiropractor. It’s never too late to bring a spine in line, but with children it’s crucial to make the right adjustments sooner rather than later.
Contact My Orange County Chiropractic Office Today
At Winchell Chiropractic & Wellness, I see children often. As mentioned, the increase in text neck symptoms is concerning.
Even if your child is not complaining from pain now, it never hurts to have him or her thoroughly assessed to prevent neck, back, shoulder, and head pain in the future.
Schedule an appointment online or contact my office at 949-472-4114.