Look around any mall, bus stop, school, or work place and you will likely see someone looking down at their phone. This posture and the symptoms that accompany it are referred to as Text Neck. Repetitively flexing the neck forward to look down at a screen can cause an array of short term symptoms and put your neck at risk for long-term effects.
The symptoms of Text Neck include:
stiffness or pain in the neck, upper back, and shoulders
numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, or upper back
muscle spasms in the upper back and neck
Repetitively using this posture to text, email, read articles, or play games causes the muscles in the back of your neck to tighten. These muscles become stressed as they are forced to hold your head in the forward flexed position repetitively throughout the day. In fact, for every 1 inch of forward head posture, 1 pound of stress is added to the spine. Over time this repetitive stress can lead to overuse strains and put you at risk for early degeneration of the cervical spine, intervertebral disc damage, and an altered cervical curve.
Luckily, Text Neck is easy to prevent and very treatable, especially if caught before long-term damage has occurred. In order to prevent Text Neck, the stress on the neck has to be reduced. This can be done by holding your device at eye level (rather than looking down at the screen), keeping your head directly over top of your shoulders, and taking frequent breaks.
Recommended treatments to improve the headaches, neck pain and other symptoms associated with text neck include:
Class IV Laser Therapy
Neck stretching and strengthening
Postural awareness and corrective exercises
If you have any questions about Text Neck or how we treat it here at Energize Health, please feel free to contact us at 403-455-8220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Dr. Caitlyn Cameron, DC