Do you spend a lot of time looking at your phone? Have you noticed an increasing amount of neck pain? You could be suffering from ‘text neck’, the epidemic that is seeing more and more people visit their local physiotherapists for neck pain treatment.
What is text neck?
Text neck is neck pain caused by the position we sit in whilst looking at our mobile devices, it’s a position you could be in right now! Repeatedly sitting, or standing, with shoulders slumped and head forward is what causes this pain.
The position we sit in whilst texting or looking at our phones affects the muscles, tendons and ligament structures in the front of the neck by compressing and tightening them, while lengthening those structures at the back of the neck.
It’s a growing concern as 95% of adults aged 18-34 own a mobile phone, and spend approximately five hours a day looking at their phone. Text neck can also cause shoulder pain, chronic headaches and lower back pain.
Symptoms of text neck
So, what should you look out for?
There’s quite a few symptoms to look out for if you think you are at risk of getting text neck, including:
- A stiff or sore neck
- Radiating, sharp or nagging pain in the neck or shoulders
- Muscle weakness
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s best to try and limit phone usage and fix your posture, should you need to use a device.
There are a few stretches that can relieve pain in the short term, including common yoga poses downward dog and cat cow. Simple chin tucks can also help.
Heat packs and massages can also help relieve short term pain, but are not recommended if you are regularly experiencing pain.
Text Neck Treatment
Treating text neck with physio is often done in four phases;
- Reducing pain
- Restoring strength in the neck and range of motion
- Restoring the neck’s full function
This will help sufferers get back to a pain free life and prevent recurrences in the future. How? Through using a variety of treatments which may include posture correction exercises, neck stabilisation exercises, acupuncture, soft tissue massages, and more.
Text Neck Prevention
This involves changing how you hold your phone by bringing your screen to eye level and taking phone breaks to ensure you aren’t sitting in the same position for a prolonged period of time.
If you spend a lot of time on your phone, chances are you either have suffered from text neck or will at some point. Be aware of the signs and symptoms and check your usage time to try and prevent it.
Morley Physiotherapy is here to help you with your text neck, helping the people of Bayswater and beyond with all their physio needs.
Although compiled with great care, please note that the tips and advice provided are general in nature and by no means substitute specific medical advice and treatment. If you are experiencing pain of any sort, please give us a call or consult your medical professional.