Text Neck: A New Generation of Injury

Updated: Nov 27, 2019


Are you reading this blog on your cellular device? If so, this blog was meant for you!


With the advancement of technology, we have seen an increase in injuries like carpal tunnel. The latest injury that has become more prevalent? Text neck!


Did you know that on any given day, the average person spends over four hours on their mobile device? And while we would love to assume that people are maintaining good posture while doing so, we know that’s not always the case. Most of us look at our mobile devices with our shoulders rounded, head forward, and back slouched. Over time, this position can cause pain in the neck which is referred to as “text neck.”

How to Prevent Text Neck

Change your phone posture – Easier said than done! We know. But, if you make a conscious effort to improve your posture while on your phone, it can become habit. The first thing to do is bring your phone to eye level. Also try bringing your shoulders down and back (away from your ears)!

Limit your time on your phone – One of the newer features that some phones are offering now are updates on how long you’ve spent on your phone. You can also set timers that will only allow you to be on the phone for a certain amount of time. If you’re worried about developing text neck, try setting a timer to limit the amount of time you spend on your phone every day. You can start by taking 30 minutes off at a time. Any change makes a difference.

Consult with a professional – If you have been experiencing neck pain for some time, it may be a good idea to consult with a professional. They can guide you on how to overcome your pain, ways you can prevent it from happening again, or give you some direction on who you should see if your neck pain is potentially being causes by something greater. Your physical therapist can help you find the correct posture, provide you with some exercises to do at home, and even work on the muscle tissue through manual therapy to help it relax.

Exercises for Text Neck

There are some exercises you can do help prevent text neck from happening. As an added bonus, they will help you with your overall posture, too!

1) Chin Tucks

2) Scapula Squeezes

3) Rows

4) Extensions

Stretches for Text Neck

In addition to strengthening exercises, it is important to stretch the muscles of and around the neck.

1) Upper Trapezius

2) Levator Scapulae

3) Cat/Cow or Cat/Camel

4) Pectoral Stretch



We realize that our cell phones are a large part of our everyday lives and breaking habits takes time. But, if you set a goal every single day to cut back on the amount of time spent on your phone even by 5 minutes or to change your posture when you think about it, you will be better off in the long run.


If you try the above stretches and exercises and see no results, we are here to help! Avoid a visit to your physician and schedule an injury assessment with one of our Physical Therapists.




References

Melanie Curtin for Inc., "Are You On Your Phone Too Much? The Average Person Spends This Much Time On It Everyday," https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/are-you-on-your-phone-too-much-average-person-spends-this-many-hours-on-it-every-day.html

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