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What Is Text Neck and What Can You Do About It?

Shopify API August 04, 2022 No Comments
What is text neck? Common repetitive strain injury results in neck and shoulder pain and postural imbalances if not treated.
what is text neck: man bending over to text
August 2022. This article is independently written by Shelby Golding. All opinions given are hers. Shelby has been certified as a personal trainer and nutritional specialist since 2007. In 2008, she found her passion for writing about these topics and hasn't looked back.
what is text neck: man bending over to text

Text neck is a type of neck pain associated with the prevalence of cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. About 97% of Americans own a cellphone and spend about 6 hours daily on non-work-related cell phone use. The act of bending forward to read the text on the screen for extended periods causes a repetitive stress injury to the neck, commonly known as "text neck" or "tech neck."
 
The position of the neck while reading a text does not support healthy posture. Instead, it affects the curve of the cervical spine while putting added strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck and shoulders. Text neck isn't technically a medical diagnosis, simply a term coined to describe the cause of this repetitive strain injury.
 
Most studies show that the increasing prevalence of neck pain is not due to the introduction of cell phones. However, text neck is an increasingly common type of neck pain. To answer what is text neck, you need to look at the symptoms that cause it and your lifestyle.

Symptoms of Text Neck

Neck pain is the most common symptom of text neck, followed closely by shoulder pain. Pain may radiate throughout the neck and upper body or concentrate in one spot. Symptoms might include sharp pain, stiffness, tightness, and decreased range of motion. For example, you may not be able to lift your arms above shoulder height or turn your head from side to side.

The upper body muscles are often weak and easily tired- especially the trapezius, rhomboids, and shoulder external rotators.

Other seemingly unrelated medical problems associated with text next include thoracic kyphosis (hunchback), early onset arthritis, spinal degeneration, disc compression, loss of lung capacity, and eye pain.
 
The tight muscles at the base of the skull can result in intermittent or constant headaches. In more severe cases, nerve pain might cause tingling or numbness in the elbow, hands, or fingers. Pain will most likely worsen during the day if you use your cell phone or another handheld device.
 
Pain that comes on suddenly is more likely due to an injury than text neck. The symptoms of text neck commonly increase over time if not corrected.

Text Neck Treatment

Once you've identified your neck and shoulder pain is coming from texting, you'll likely look for treatment to resolve the pain or discomfort. Most cases of text neck will go away between four to eight weeks after beginning treatment. However, constant awareness of your posture will be necessary if you want to recover completely.
 
First, you should focus on changing your postural habits while on a smartphone or other mobile device. For example, try not to slouch whenever you are on your phone. Set a reminder to sit up straight or find a posture correction device if you don't want to stop using your phone altogether.
 
Exercises and stretches can also be used to build strength and increase flexibility in the neck and shoulders. Therefore, you want to include a healthy balance of strengthening and stretching in your text neck treatment.
 
Strengthening the neck increases stability and protects tendons and ligaments. Meanwhile, flexibility improves mobility, lengthens muscles, and reduces tightness. Chin tuck exercises are beneficial for stretching tight neck muscles and restoring mobility. You'll also want to strengthen the trapezius, rhomboids, and shoulder external rotators.

Consult with your doctor about the proper course of treatment for your neck pain. They can clearly define what is text neck and what isn’t.

You may also want to see a specialist for more specific exercises or treatments. Chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and physical therapists are all viable options for dealing with the effects of text neck.
 
Chiropractors and physical therapists work to improve the range of motion and correct any spinal imbalances that may have appeared as a result of your poor posture. In addition, acupuncturists focus on relaxing the body to help it heal. Any therapeutic relaxation technique, from massage therapy to cupping, may provide some relief from tight muscles and speed up the healing process.

Prevent Text Neck

Prevent Text Neck

Preventative measures are important to keep neck pain from returning. Most text neck complaints are the result of poor posture. Standing over a cell phone changes the curve of your spine, allowing gravity to pull the head further forward and down. For every inch forward you lean, an extra 10 pounds of pressure are added to the muscles and ligaments of the neck.
 
However, correcting postural imbalances is not always as easy as “standing up straight.” You may need to practice proper posture daily and remind yourself to fix certain aspects before they become a habit.
 
Ideally, you should stand with the chin tucked in, shoulders pulled back, shoulders over knees, and knees over ankles. The spine should have a natural S-curve, and the pelvis should be slightly tipped forward.

Until you master your posture, practice raising your phone closer to eye level, so you do not have to bend forward to read it. You can also purchase a tablet or cell phone holder to relax through the neck and shoulders while using your mobile device.

Another way to prevent text neck is to take time away from your phone and get moving. Exercise and staying active are not only good for your overall health and well-being but also prevent you from spending too much time hunched over a cell phone. In addition, unplugging from technology has many surprising benefits, including increased productivity and decreased depression and anxiety.
 
If you have to spend a lot of time on your phone, take breaks often and stretch periodically to relieve muscle tension and pain.

Stop Text Neck Fast

Text neck is the result of repetitive stress. So, to stop the pain, you need to change your movement habits to reduce the strain on the muscles and ligaments of the neck and shoulders. As such, the question of “what is text neck” begs the following thought, how do you make it better? Focus on building strength and flexibility in the neck and improve overall lifestyle habits to prevent it from returning in the future.
 
While you work on strengthening and relieving your text neck pains, don’t forget your Kailo Pain Patch. The Kailo Patch is designed to relieve pain in seconds, and a clinical study showed that 99% of patients felt pain relief with Kailo within 10 minutes of using the patch. It doesn’t get much better than that!
 
Disclaimer: Kailo should not be used if you have a pacemaker or if you are pregnant. Always consult your doctor or health care professional before using Kailo.

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