What is Text Neck?
Text Neck is a repetitive stress injury or overuse syndrome to the neck caused by holding your head in a forward and downward position for extended periods of time. Excessive amounts of tension are created in the deep muscles of your neck and across the shoulders leading to neck pain. Headaches have also been linked to this condition.
Due to the increasing popularity and hours people spend on handheld devices such as smartphones, tablets and on laptops Text Neck numbers are on the rise.
What Causes Text Neck?
Poor posture. The average weight of head is 5Kg which makes up 8% of the whole body mass. That is a lot of weight that the neck muscles and ligaments need to move and support! The weight of the head dramatically increases if you get into poor postures. As much as 6 times the force can be generated if the neck is not in a neutral position (same weight of an average 8 year old). Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, Surgical Technology International finds that texting can add up to 50 pounds of pressure on a person’s spine, depending on the angle at which the person is texting.
(Surgical Technology International)
Text Neck’ can lead to the inflammation of the neck ligaments and nerve irritation.
Signs and Symptoms of Text Neck
- Upper back or neck pain when using a handheld device
- Aching or sharp pain in the neck
- General shoulder pain and tightness.
- Headaches which are aggravated when looking down or using the computer
Text Neck Treatment
The main aims of treatment are to reduce the pain in the neck, the tightness within the neck muscles, and change the postures that aggravate your symptoms.
This is achieved by:
- Joint mobilisations
- Sports massage
- Postural advice
- Neural mobilisations
- Soft tissue release
- Ergonomic advice – all devices including mobile phones should be at eye level
- Having regular breaks from your workstation, also use of mobile phones and tablets should be kept to minimum time
One exercise to help improve posture and reduce symptoms caused by Text neck is cervical spine retraction.
Please be aware of your body and take advice from your GP before exercising if you have any aches or pains or send me an email email@example.com for advice and guidance.
Cervical Spine Retraction
- Sit up tall
- Keeping your eyes looking forwards
- Tuck your chin to your chest (make a double chin)
- Hold 10 seconds, repeat ten times, three times a day
If you have Text Neck, neck or shoulder pain we can help!