With the prevalence of smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices, adults and children alike are beginning to suffer from a condition called "text neck". Text neck is a repetitive stress injury characterized by pain in the upper back, the neck, and/or the shoulders; it can develop when devices are used for long periods of time without breaks. The pain can be localized and feel quite intense, or it can be a general soreness surrounding and including the neck.
When smartphone users are texting, they typically have rounded shoulders and forward head posture. This causes the muscles in the neck, chest, and upper back to become imbalanced, and makes good posture (with ears directly over the shoulders) difficult to achieve.
The most common symptoms associated with text neck are reduced mobility, tightness and pain in the neck area, and muscle spasms. People who text a lot may also feel pins-and-needles tingling, sharp pain, or numbness radiating from the neck into the shoulders, arms, and/or hands. Balance problems and jaw pain may also be experienced.
The best way to prevent symptoms of text neck include raising the smartphone to eye level so the head isn't tilted forward, taking frequent breaks from using handheld devices, arching and stretching periodically to ease muscle pain, and exercising regularly to strengthen back and neck muscles. Consider scheduling a few times per day to check texts and emails, instead of responding continuously to messages all day long.
"Treatments that can help with difficulties from text neck include chiropractic care to restore lack of spinal motion," explained Kelly Lesemann, DC, MS, and owner of Comprehensive Pain & Wellness in Morris. "Massage therapy helps loosen tight muscles from repetitive motions and postures, and strengthening exercises give better support to the neck and upper back. At Comprehensive Pain & Wellness, we offer all three treatments to patients with symptoms of text neck." For more information, please contact:
Comprehensive Pain & Wellness
107 West Jefferson Street
Morris, IL 60450