What is text neck?
Text Neck is an overuse syndrome or a repetitive stress injury to the neck caused by holding your head in a forward and downward position for extended periods of time. When holding your head in this position, excessive amounts of tension are created in the deep muscles of your neck and across the shoulders causing both acute and chronic neck pain. Chronic headaches have also been linked to this condition.
The increased prevalence of these pains is due to the increasing popularity and hours people spend on handheld devices such as smartphones, e-readers and tablets.
What Exactly Causes Text Neck?
When in an upright posture, when the ears are aligned with the centre of your shoulders, the weight of the average head exerts approximately 10-12lbs of force through the muscles of the neck. But when your head is moved forward by one 1 inch, away from this neutral position, the weight of your head dramatically increases. Approximately 6 times as much force can be generated !!! That is the same weight as an average 8 year old, or six Ten-pin bowling balls!!!
If left untreated, a ‘text neck’ can lead to the inflammation of the neck ligaments, nerve irritation and increased curvature in the spine.
Signs and Symptoms of Text Neck
- Instant upper back or neck pain when using a handheld device
- Nagging or sharp pain in the neck or shoulders at the end of the day.
- General shoulder pain and tightness.
- Intermittent or constant headache made worse when looking down or using the computer
Text Neck Treatment
Text neck can be managed through exercises, cutting back on phone time and chiropractic treatment. The main aims of treatment are to reduce the tension within the neck muscles, reduce the pain within your neck and address the postures that aggravate your symptoms.
After your chiropractor has assessed your lifestyle, posture and your neck structures they will confirm the main issues causing your neck pain. They will utilise a range of treatments including
- joint mobilisations
- posture correction exercises
- neck stabilisation exercises
- taping techniques