As smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives, it’s not uncommon to see people constantly looking down at their screens. While smartphones may offer you a wealth of knowledge and a way to stay connected, the constant bending of your neck to look down at your phone may lead to a condition nicknamed text neck.
Text neck occurs when the head is tilted forward and downward, causing the neck muscles to strain and become overworked. This posture puts additional pressure on the spine, leading to discomfort and neck pain. The severity of text neck may vary. Some people experience minor aches and pains, while others may develop chronic neck pain that requires medical attention.
As we continue to rely on our smartphones to stay connected and informed, the incidence of text neck is likely to increase. Therefore, taking steps to prevent and treat text neck is crucial.
Symptoms of Text Neck
Spending a lot of time looking down at your phone may cause your neck and shoulders to become stiff or sore. If you begin to experience any of the following symptoms after using your phone, it may be a telltale sign of text neck. Symptoms of text neck include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Shoulder discomfort
- Tingling in the arms or hands
- Eye pain
- Decreased range of motion
Tips for Preventing Neck Pain from Your Smartphone
There are several ways to prevent text neck and protect your neck from the harmful effects of excessive smartphone use. The next time you scroll through social media or surf the web on your phone, follow these tips to potentially prevent any unnecessary strain on your neck.
Keep Your Phone at Eye Level
One of the main causes of text neck is having to look down at your phone for an extended period of time. Avoid this strain by keeping your phone in front of you and at eye level. This small change may make a big difference in preventing neck pain and fatigue. Using a phone stand or propping up your phone can help keep your device at an ergonomically correct angle.
Take Frequent Breaks
Although it may be tempting to stay glued to your phone, taking frequent breaks from looking at your screen can help protect you from the strain of text neck. Make sure to take breaks every so often to give your eyes and neck a break from staring at the screen. If you find yourself spending too much time on your phone, try setting limits for yourself. There are many mobile applications available to help you keep track of the time you spend on your device.
Maintain Good Posture
Maintaining good posture is always important, especially when looking at your phone. Keeping your head and neck in a neutral position with your shoulders back and down is essential for good posture. Sitting with good posture may help reduce the strain on your neck and shoulders. If you have trouble maintaining good posture, consider investing in an ergonomic chair that can help keep your body in the right position.
Exercises and stretches designed to target the neck and upper back muscles may reduce tension and strain in the area. Regularly performing these exercises may help you prevent the onset of text neck and its associated symptoms. If you’re unsure of what exercises to do or want to create an individualized exercise plan, it’s best to consult a physical therapist.
Reduce Your Neck and Back Pain with Motion Orthopaedics
If you’re experiencing neck pain and think it may be caused by text neck, it’s important to seek treatment. At Motion Orthopaedics, our team of skilled professionals is here to help you find relief from back and neck pain. Whether you need orthopedic care, physical therapy, or other forms of treatment, we can help you get back to feeling your best. Don’t let text neck hold you back from living your life to the fullest. Contact Motion Orthopaedics today to learn more about how we can help you manage your neck pain and improve your overall well-being.