What is Text Neck?
Our everyday lives are now filled with technology: computers, tablets, smartphones and games.. All of these require us to be looking at a screen with our heads down. This constant position of being hunched over a device is causing a condition called “Text Neck” .
It is a type of cervical spinal degeneration that can result from repetitive stress injury caused by the forward flexing of a head constantly looking down at a device screen. The human head typically weighs between 4 and 5 kg. This is not an insignificant amount of weight to be pulling down and forwards from the neck, sometimes for hours at at time.
On average we spend up to 2.5 hours a day looking at smart devices, for work, entertainment and to socialise. So it’s no surprise that Text Neck is exceedingly common in lots of different types of people.
What are the symptoms and effects of Text Neck?
Text neck can affect anyone and increasingly young children and teenagers, because of their addiction to mobile phones, are suffering from this condition. The symptoms are :
- Pain in the upper back, it could be chronic, or sharp, or back spasms in the muscles.
- Shoulder and neck pain or spasms
- Pain can also be down arm if nerves have been affected (for example a pinched nerve)
Some research has suggested that Text Neck can cause arthritis in the neck which can then develop into ongoing problems.
If young, text neck may cause long-term damage to growing bodies, if not seen to by a professional and treated.
How to treat Text Neck
The most important thing to remember with Text Neck is prevention. All devices including mobile phones should be at eye level, this is so you do not have to bend your neck to look down your screen.
Where ever you have computers set up, in the office or at home, the screens should be organised so that your shoulders are square, with your head looking forward.
If you can have regular breaks from your device, stretch your body, go for a walk, this may help to relieve any pressure or tension in the neck area.
Your Core Muscles play a very important role in supporting your neck , a daily routine of specific exercises for your core will help strengthen not only the neck but your upper back as well. Read our recent post on Core Strength for more info.
This is also needed for the neck muscles, there are specific exercises that will help keep the neck loose and strong to help support your head.
What next ?
The team at Dynamic Physio can help pin point any problems associated with Text Neck or any other related injuries. We can help you with a treatment plan to relieve pain and strengthen your body so Text Neck is no longer an issue.
Contact us today to book an appointment with an expert therapist.