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Text neck: what it is and how to protect yourself

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - Admit it, you spend at least a few hours looking at your phone every day.

"We're not supposed to have headaches two and three times a week, you know we're not supposed to have these aches and pains regularly," Chiropractor Donna Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the habit has it's hazards.

"Our head weighs basically as much is a bowling ball so if you think about it how it moves around you know bowling ball – that's a lot of weight, 10 to 15 pounds and it does put a lot of strain on the upper back and shoulders," she said.

But ignoring the issue may lead to more than just a pain in the neck.
"This is the key element, 80 percent of your nervous system is from here up," Rodriguez said. "So if you get anything interfering up there it's going to affect down below anywhere in your body."

Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to reduce the strain.
"When they're on their phones, they're standing like this (head tilted down)," Rodriguez said. "You know one thing that's simple that they could do is try bringing your phone up a little higher."

Another tip? Try strengthening your neck muscles with some isometric exercises.
"They're very gentle, anyone can do them," Rodriguez said. "Basically you take your hand and you push your head against your hand in all the directions including the angles front and back so it's across front and the angles as well. And that can help relieve the strain."

You may also want to see a chiropractor for an adjustment.
"The curve in the neck should be like this and of course when your head tipped forward all day the spine actually curve the opposite direction and become kyphotic is the word," Rodriguez said. "So what we do with the work on getting that curve established back in the neck where it should be when things are aligned properly they work better and they feel better."

So much better, in fact, that many are skipping the pain pills in favor of a more natural solution.
"People are seeing it as an alternative to having to take prescription pharmaceutical drugs," Rodriguez said.

But the relief doesn't just apply to your neck and back. Research shows going in for an adjustment can boost your whole immune system as well.

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