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A Guide on Text Neck
With technology on the rise, it seems that everyone today has a smartphone. While these devices do provide us with a great deal of convenience, they cause extensive strain on our bodies. In the medical field, we have been seeing many patients who are suffering from the newer phenomenon called text neck. Caused from excessive hunching over, text neck can induce mild to extreme discomfort in the neck and shoulders. With the wide use of smartphones across generations, this malady can be observed across all age groups. Here at Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics in Arizona we’ve successful diagnosed and treated text next for countless patients.
What is text neck?
Text neck is a modern term used to describe the stress caused by cell phone usage. It is described as a repeated stress injury from spending too much time hunching over your smartphone. Text neck can cause mild to extreme stiffness and pain in your neck muscles. In addition, we have found that shoulder pain, upper back pain, and headaches may be caused from this injury.
What causes text neck?
While smartphones alone aren’t the cause, it seems that our position while using them is. People often get lost in their devices, forgetting their posture, bending over their phones, and straining their necks for excessive amounts of time. Doing this a few times will not cause damage, but when we repeat it daily for hours on end, painful symptoms will start to appear. The continual stress on the neck and back muscles begins to add up, causing what we now refer to as text neck.
Text neck can cause mild to severe stiffness and pain in your neck. However, there are more symptoms that can be associated with the condition, including the following:
- Upper back pain – Resulting from muscle trauma, this pain can vary from nagging to sharp pain. This also includes muscles spasm, tightness, and stiffness.
- Shoulder pain – Pain and tightness are closely associated with text neck. You may also experience muscle spasms.
- Nerve damage – If a cervical nerve has been pinched, you may feel painful or tingling sensations along your back or down your arms.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of text neck, there are a few ways to find relief. Begin practicing better posture habits and follow this list to start recovery.
- Specific neck stretches
- Neck-strengthening exercises
- Massage therapy
Steps to prevent text neck
Text neck can be a very debilitating pain, one you’ll want to avoid as much as possible. Along with reducing your risk of pain and stiffness, these steps will help you achieve better posture in general.
- Hold your phone at eye level – Making sure to use your phone at eye level will greatly reduce your risk. It’s important to ensure you are not straining your neck at all while using your devices.
- Take frequent breaks from screens – To save yourself from muscle trauma, give your neck a break. We suggest that you take a break every 30 to 45 minutes to allow your muscles to relax.
- Implement an optimal desk setup – Make sure the height of your chair and desk are well-suited for your eyes and neck. It’s important to have a level view of your screen and not strain your muscles. If you haven’t thought about this before, it may be time to do some adjusting.
Contact us today for assistance
Our experienced teams at Banner CORE Center for Orthopedics in Arizona can help diagnose your text neck and determine if that’s the extent of your injury, or if something more serious may be at play. We will guide you through recovery, doing everything we’ve been trained to do to heal your pain.