Category: Neck Pain | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
In today’s ever-connected world, it’s not uncommon to see teens and adults buried in their cell phone when they are on the bus, at the office or even when they’re walking down the street. Cell phones and tablets have made it easier to connect with friends or send emails on the go, but they are also taking a toll on our neck and spine. When we’re bent over our phones, our head naturally puts extra stress on our neck. Today, we take a closer look at how texting and our cell phones are affecting our necks.
Text Neck Causes & Symptoms
Text neck describes the action of leaning forward to look down at your phone, tablet or simply to read, but it really can be associated with any action that jeopardizes your posture by positioning your head out in front of your body, instead of upright on your shoulders. Doing so for long periods can cause neck pain, and it can eventually lead to permanent damage and lifelong pain.
Some of the most common symptoms associated with text neck include:
- Pain in the upper back, ranging from an acute, sharp pain to mild, radiating or pulsing discomfort
- Shoulder pain, tightness or spasms
- Shooting pain in your arms and hands
- Chronic headaches
- Low back pain
Text Neck Care & Treatment
If you’re starting to experience neck pain or shoulder tightness, think about how often you’re looking down at your phone or a book. We’re not saying you need to stop texting or reading, but you need to be cognizant of your head position when you’re doing these activities. Some intervention techniques that can help prevent and treat pain from text neck include:
- Move Your Phone Forward – If you get a text, hold your phone up at eye level if possible. If it’s at eye level, your head is going to remain at a correct position above your shoulders.
- Take Frequent Breaks – If you’re texting a lot or deep into a good book, it’s important to take regular breaks. This will ensure you’re not straining your neck for extended periods.
- Chair and Screen Height – Text neck can also occur at the office. Set up your desk so that when you’re looking forward, you’re staring at the center of your computer screen. If it’s too high or too low, your neck will naturally move out of position.
In the end, preventing text neck really comes down to being mindful of your posture. If you’re suffering from text neck, physical therapy and a consultation with a back specialist can help set you back on the road to recovery. For more information on text neck, feel free to contact us.