Text Neck: Excessive mobile phone use and neck pain
Text neck is a real thing and is becoming increasingly more common due to advancements in technology. Many people today suffer from pain and stiffness in the neck and upper back due to overuse of mobile phones and tablet devices.
Depending on our lifestyles we will spend a certain amount of time looking down, whether it be working at a desk or reading our favourite novel. However today we have very powerful mobile phones and tablets that can entertain us for hours on end.
This adds another activity that increases the time we spend looking down and this can lead to excess strain put on our spinal joints and muscles. Are you on a phone right now reading this? Are you slouched over, looking down? Most likely yes.
Don’t worry you are not the only one. For instance next time you are on public transport have a look around and you will notice almost everyone is slouched over on their phones. Text neck is rapidly becoming an epidemic.
Text neck is a defined as neck pain and damage that is a result of looking down at a mobile phone too frequently and for too long. This is becoming extremely common, especially due to the growing popularity of social media, games and streaming sites such as YouTube.
If you have children it is important to monitor how long they spend on these devices as it could lead to changes in their spinal alignment that could lead to chronic pain in their adult lives.
Effects of Text Neck
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Tight achy shoulders
- Postural changes
- Spinal degeneration
- Pinched nerves
- Mid back pain
- Low back pain
Dee Why Chiropractic Care’s advice
- Hold your phone at eye level as much as possible
- Don’t spend too much time looking down at your phone
- Take frequent breaks from phones and desk work to reset your posture
- Stretch out you chest and shoulders as the tend to get tight
- Do mid back extension exercises
- Heat packs across your shoulders if they are chronically tight
- Listen to podcasts or music to entertain yourself
In some cases you may be experiencing significant pain and physical therapy is recommended. Text neck is a postural syndrome and for that reason we will do a full postural exam to identify where the pain is coming from and what exercises would be most beneficial to correct the problem.