Text neck is a condition caused by repeated stress injury and neck pain. A person can get this from use of devices such as a phone over a long period of time. Text neck syndrome is very alarming in our generation today because people are so into gadgets, even children at a young age are using phones. And while using a phone is, of course, very helpful, we need to find a balance to avoid this kind of condition.
What causes text neck?
This happens when the more you bend your neck, the more weight will be applied when you lean your head forward. Most people are not aware that using a smartphone is one of the major factors that affect your posture. Nowadays, adults and even children are using mobile phones as part of their daily routine and this may cause postural change, neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain and arm pain. A neck in an unnatural position — being bent for a long time, for example — can lead to discomfort or pain. If left untreated, it can possibly lead to inflammation of the neck and some permanent damage, such as misalignment of the spinal cord, degeneration of the spine, flattening of the spinal curve, early sign of arthritis, nerve damage, possible muscle damage and even gastrointestinal problems.
Symptoms of text neck
Untreated neck pain due to looking at a mobile phone or other electronic devices and bending your neck unnaturally for a long time could cause a strain injury, otherwise known as Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS). The most common text neck symptom is characterized by stiffness and soreness of neck. Here are the main symptoms of text neck:
- Soreness in the neck or stiff neck
- Early signs of arthritis
- Postural change
- Stiffness across the shoulder
- Weakening of muscle
Text neck treatment
It’s best to consult a physiotherapist for a proper treatment to reduce the tension and stress in the neck muscles and to address and reduce pain in your neck. It is necessary to assess and consult with physiotherapist regarding your posture, neck structure, and lifestyle to ascertain the real cause of your neck pain. They will teach you how to treat and prevent text neck. The treatment may be the following:
- Exercises for posture correction
- Dry needling/acupuncture
- Soft tissue massage
- Neck stabilization exercises
- Trigger point therapy
- Soft tissue work
- Postural education
Prevention of text neck
Prevention can be the best treatment; it’s not too late for you to change your bad habit to avoid text neck. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind while you’re using smartphones or other electronic devices:
- Don’t forget to take a break and avoid excessive usage.
- Always do neck stretching exercises regularly.
- Position your device in a good place where you can relax and reduce stress in your neck.
- Avoid constant repetition of movements such as prolonged playing or typing.
Interested in learning how to correct your posture? Learn more about our Better Posture Program.