Walk into any room or public place these days and you are likely to find most people craning over their mobile phones. Whether you are browsing the internet, playing games or networking, the position in which you hold your head will likely cause problems to your neck and back, if it is not positioned correctly. Text neck is a modern condition that affects many people. In most cases, the pain caused by text neck has to do with the cervical spine, and it isn’t simply a musculoskeletal injury.
What is text neck?
Text neck is a term that describes neck pain and the damage sustained from tilting your neck downwards. The pain results from looking down at your tablet, cell phone or any other device repeatedly for a prolonged period of time.
Text neck may also present as severe acute back muscle strain. It is especially concerning since these injuries may lead to permanent damage to the cervical spine, which could result in chronic neck and back conditions. The common signs and symptoms of text neck include upper back pain, shoulder pains, and pinched cervical nerves.
What happens when you tilt your neck for prolonged periods?
Everyone has a natural and a slight inward curve in the neck that looks like a C. The C shaped curvature helps in providing mechanical functions such as shock absorption and distributing the weight of your head. When you tilt your neck downwards for a long time, it forces the neck to support more weight which makes your cervical spine strained leading to a severe pain in your neck.
There are many causes of this type of pain, which may include prolonged use of mobile phones and computers, bad posture and lack of exercise. Looking downwards at devices such as mobile phones is one of the most problematic causes since it directly puts more pressure and tension in your neck’s deep muscles, which increases the risk of spinal disc herniation and spinal curve dislocation.
What should you do to reduce your risks of getting text neck?
There are various activities you can engage in on a daily basis to help you minimise the effect that your wireless devices can have on your neck health. Some of these simple activities include:
- Holding Your Phone Higher – If you hold your device higher, you will be in the position to reduce the degree at which your neck bends minimising the strain on the cervical spine.
- Stretching – You should stop to stretch when you get a few minutes during the day. Stretching will not only reset your brain but also help your neck muscles to straighten reducing the risks.
- Set it Down – When using your device, you should try your best to limit prolonged use where you are straining your neck and have regular breaks where you set the device aside. The benefits to your wellness and health will be worth it.
If you are experiencing pain as a result of text neck, it is essential to recognise them as early as possible and take action immediately. Speak to the team at Neuroworks in Ealing, London on 020 8566 3757 to find relief from your pain.