By SARA ELLIS OWEN

Is Text Neck Creeping Up On Your Teenager?

Does your teen have a text neck?

Next Generation Pilates explores the condition and how Pilates can improve flexibility for your teens.

Over 90% of teens in the UK own a mobile phone. For a long time, parents have been concerned by the impact that electronic devices have had on their teenagers. Constant use of electronic devices can lead to a variety of mental and physical development issues. Text neck is a term which describes the impact to the neck after long-term use of mobile devices. Read on to find out more about the symptoms of text neck, and the wider effects of long term mobile use for teens.

What Are The Symptoms Of Text Neck?

Text neck is caused by constantly leaning forward to text or otherwise use a mobile device. This has a particular risk for teens as their bodies are still developing. Text neck can lead to the development of a rounded upper back. Your teen may also have text neck if they display any of the following:

What Other Injuries Can Be Caused By Repeated Mobile Use?

On average, teens spend an average of over 7 hours a day on their phones. This can lead to a variety of injuries, such as ‘text thumb’, when the tendons surrounding the thumb become inflamed and rub against the tunnel that encases it. Over time, this can spread up the thumb leading to inflammation of the knuckle and entire thumb.

Lengthy periods spent on devices can also lead to a range of repetitive strain injuries (RSI), most commonly in the joints of the hand, arm, or upper body. These could include numbness, tingling or pain in the following joints:

Wrist, Elbow, Shoulder, Forearm, Neck

If your teen is complaining of these symptoms, you should consult your GP in the first instance.

What Is Technology Doing Physically To Our Teens?

Technology is having a long term physical impact on our teens. Studies suggest that over-use of technology can lead to attention deficits, disrupted sleep, and social isolation. The direct physical implications of these are posture problems, pain caused by text neck, text thumb, scoliosis, or other RSI conditions, and ultimately, long term pain in later life. Over time, poor posture can lead to severe back pain and even spinal degeneration.

How Can We Protect Our Teens From Text Neck?

Pilates for teens is an excellent way to protect against the long term damage caused by poor posture. Pilates can help increase flexibility, range of movement and strength in teens, minimising the damage caused by time spent texting. Pilates develops strength in your core, improves spinal alignment, and also your awareness of posture. This is particularly essential for teens who may slouch over a phone without realising. It also acts as a physical removal from their phone, interrupting screen hours and providing a healthier way to use their time. Additional benefits include better bone density and joint health, which is essential for adolescent development.

Find out about Next Generation Pilates and our available Pilates for teens courses today, to set your teens on the path to less screen time and better physical health.