Fine Tuning

Text Neck: How Posture Affects Thyroid and Heart Health

text-neck

What is “text neck”? It’s a term referring to the pain and postural distortion associated with routinely looking down at your smartphone. When your head posture is too forward (i.e., too far in front of your center of gravity), this causes a reverse curve of the cervical spine. Over time, the tissues become more and more rigid, resulting in a loss of mobility. Eventually, this can lead to a permanent bent-forward position, as seen in elderly people who must constantly look up in order to keep their eyes straight ahead. Today’s heavy use of smartphones, computers, and tablets poses an increased risk for a greater occurrence of this postural syndrome—at an earlier age of onset.

The slouched “text neck” posture has significant impact on the spinal structures, posing a notable and immediate danger to the cervical region in particular. Neck and back pain are not the only potential consequences.

What Are the Consequences of Text Neck?

On top of affecting the dura mater and the movement of the cerebral spinal fluid (which impact spinal and brain health), text neck also affects the health and function of two important organs attached to the cervical spine: the thyroid and the heart.

How Posture Affects Thyroid Health

The thyroid is attached to the thyroid cartilage (i.e., adam’s apple), which has significant attachments to the cervical spine. When the spine moves forward, the thyroid’s tension is reduced. This alters both blood flow and thyroid function. Read more about thyroid health here.

How Posture Affects Heart Health

The heart is held within a connective tissue compartment called the pericardium, which is attached to the diaphragm, the sternum, and the cervical spine. The posture of these structures is what holds the pericardium. When the slouched posture occurs, the pericardium is allowed to collapse, and the heart is more restricted within it. The fluid running through the tube-like pericardium structure will be interrupted, and the heart’s fascia will become less balanced in its tension and compression. This sort of structural and metabolic stress on the heart will alter its function.

Remember: Bad posture has a cumulative effect on the spine, muscles, and connective tissues. The imbalance of the spine and the resulting tissue damage will upset other relationships throughout the body—possibly leading to serious consequences, such as increased risk of disease, compromised autonomic nerve health, and decreased heart, lung, and organ function.

For more info, check out my previous post: Why Is Bad Posture So Bad?

ELDOA for Posture Correction and Pain Relief

Looking for a way to counteract “text neck”? ELDOA exercises are specifically designed to maintain posture and tissue quality. They can be a tremendous aid in balancing the routine influence of the technology we rely on so heavily in our current society. ELDOAFix, for example, is a group class specifically aimed at establishing healthy posture and reducing neck pain and back pain.

Ready to give it a try? Check out our new website, bethemostalive.com, for more info on ELDOA and to sign up for classes.

Sign up for ELDOA group classes here!

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