Text neck is the term used to describe the neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or other wireless devices too frequently and for too long.
Think about it. We spend hours and hours looking down at handheld and laptop devices. Calculate your time spent daily on these activities. No wonder so many people are complaining about the neck pain and seeking medical treatment.
There are many ways to avoid straining the neck while texting. These tips also apply to use of an iPad, Kindle, and other types of hand-held devices.
What are the symptoms associated with Text Neck?
Text neck most commonly causes neck pain and soreness. In addition, looking down at your cell phone too much each day can lead to:
- Upper back pain ranging from a chronic, nagging pain to sharp, severe upper back muscle spasms.
- Shoulder pain and tightness, possibly resulting in painful shoulder muscle spasm.
- If a cervical nerve becomes pinched, pain and possibly neurological symptoms can radiate down your arm and into your hand.
Some studies suggest, text neck may possibly lead to chronic problems due to early onset of arthritis in the neck.
Adjustments to Prevent Neck Pain While Texting
- Raise the phone. Move the cell phone (and other devices) to eye level so the head doesn’t have to be tilted.
- Take frequent breaks. Spend some time away from the phone-or any type of head-forward posture. Change positions when texting-lying on one’s back is an excellent way to relieve pressure on the neck.
- Stand up straight. Good posture, with the shoulders pulled back, keeps the body aligned in a neutral position.
- Arch and stretch. Arch the neck and upper back backward periodically to ease muscle pain.
- Stay fit. A strong, flexible back and neck are more able to handle extra stress.
Stretches to Keep the Neck Healthy
Simple neck and shoulder stretches are also important to improve blood flow and relieve tension, for example:
- Tuck the chin down toward the neck, then slowly raise it up toward the ceiling.
- Rotate the head so that it is looking out over one shoulder, then turn slowly and rotate in the other direction.
- Rotate the shoulders in a clockwise direction while holding the arms down by the sides of the body; repeat in a counter clockwise direction.
As overall guidance, regularly engaging in exercise that teaches posture and body awareness is an excellent way to counteract the tendency of developing neck pain from poor posture. Examples of such exercise programs include yoga, Pilates, Alexander Technique, and ballet.
Pain still there? Connect with one of our surgeons for an evaluation.