First, it was books. Then newspapers. Now, in this day and age, many of us spend quite a bit of time with our heads tilted towards the smartphones in our hands or the computers on our desks, plus newspapers, books, chasing after kids, and more. Though tilting your head forward for extended periods of time has always been unfavorable for your spine, this new era of technology has brought in an increased amount of time in this posture and increased pain associated with it- commonly known as “text neck.”
What is Text Neck?
Text neck is not an official medical diagnosis, but rather a term commonly used for a repetitive stress injury where excessive texting or mobile device use is believed to be the primary cause. It is usually characterized by a forward head posture and rounded shoulders. Our bodies are smart, so over time, the muscles in the neck, upper back and shoulders become conditioned to the forward head position, and may experience tightness and reduced mobility to compensate. There are even some cases where text neck also leads to an increase of headaches!
How to fix text neck
Neck pain among adults in the United States is actually pretty common; around 50% of all individuals will experience some degree of chronic neck pain, or have frequent occurrences of neck pain. Luckily, there are many steps that you can take to help reduce the pain you are feeling and help get your mobility back in your neck.
Raise it up
Our first tip to combat text neck is to raise your phone up to eye level instead of bringing your head down to your phone. The more forward you lean, the more weight your neck will have to deal with. In fact, did you know that even just tilting your head forward 15 degrees results in 27 POUNDS of pressure added to your cervical spine? Keeping your phone and other devices at eye level can relieve that pressure and ultimately keep your spine in tip-top shape.
Spend some time away from your phone, newspaper, book, or any activity that requires your head to lean or tilt forward. Take some time at work or when you’re relaxing at home to stand up, stretch, and roll your shoulders back. Those little breaks are everything when it comes to helping your spine and back muscles release some tension and ease pain.
Does stretching help text neck?
There are some stretches that your doctor might give you to help you with your neck pain. We also have compiled some home exercises that our chiropractors or physical therapists may use to help as well. But as always, this content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Get an adjustment
If you find yourself with increased pain or headaches and suspect text neck to be the culprit, and stretching and fixing your posture along with taking breaks is still not enough to help you with your neck pain, it’s time to try seeking the help of a professional: One of the amazing chiropractors from BC + PT! An adjustment can be a gentle and effective technique for relieving pain which chiropractors are specially trained in in order to help realign your spine through a physical manipulation. Adjustments are nothing to be afraid of! Learn more about them here.
Neck pain from overuse of your phone or electronic devices is surprisingly common, but it is not something that you need to continue to suffer from. Getting an adjustment is one of the simplest, most effective ways to help you on your healing journey. To get started, give us a call or fill out our contact form. Stop hurting and start healing today!