Text Neck Causes Pain

We are all guilty of doing it, but it’s so important to be conscious of continuously looking down at our phones as this repetitive action, called text neck (or sometimes “tech neck“), causes great stress on our necks.

Text neck is something that has become so common especially with people constantly looking down at their phones and tablets to text, check emails, use social media, surf the web, play games, etc. The continued forward head posture and hunched shoulders can lead to pain and reduced mobility in the neck, upper back, and shoulders. What starts as a mild ache in the neck or upper back, could eventually lead to sharp pain or stiffness.

So, the next time you are using your phone/tablet to text or check emails, be mindful of your neck and how you are holding your device as text neck pain is something that can be avoided.

What Texting and Smartphone Usage Does to Your Neck and Spine

Weight of the Head Plays Part in Text Neck Pain

An adult’s head weighs approximately 10 pounds, allowing the neck’s muscles, tendons, and ligaments to support the weight in a neutral position. However, when looking down at a phone to text it is common to bend the head forward at a 45 to 60-degree angle, which places about 50 to 60 pounds of force on the neck. Over time, this continued amount of force on the neck can lead to muscle imbalances as the body tries to adapt and find other ways to hold the head up. In some cases, muscles can become elongated and weakened, or become shorter and tighter. The unnatural, excessive forward positioning of the head also places additional stress on the intervertebral discs, which could lead to degenerative conditions in the cervical spine, such as cervical degenerative disc disease and/or cervical osteoarthritis.

Chiropractic Care and Neck Pain

If you are experiencing neck and upper back pain due to text neck, there are a few things that you can do to help with the pain. First, limit the phone/tablet use to necessary tasks. If you must use your phone/tablet on a consistent basis for work or other reasons, practice better posture by holding your device up closer to eye level so that you are not bending your neck as much. Daily stretching of your neck and upper back will also help with the pain. However, if the pain continues, it’s important to visit a chiropractor so they can perform exams to locate the source of your pain.

Depending on the symptoms, Dr, Merckling may order specific tests to help diagnose your condition. An x-ray can show narrowed disc space and bone spurs while a CAT scan and MRI can show bulging discs and herniations.

text neck

During your visit, the chiropractor will observe your posture and range of motion as well as feel your spine and note its curvature and alignment. The chiropractor may also ask you questions about your current symptoms, such as:

  • When did the neck pain start?
  • Does the pain travel to other parts of your body?
  • Does anything make the pain worse?

To improve the mobility of the spine and restore range of motion, the chiropractor may perform a neck adjustment. This is also known as cervical manipulation. Patients typically notice a reduction of pain, soreness, and stiffness in the neck after the adjustment.

Call Merckling Family Chiropractic today to help with your text neck pain (631) 286-2300.

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