What Is Text Neck?
Modern technology has revolutionized communication, art, and learning. However, the everyday — and often excessive — use of phones, tablets, computers, and televisions is a known contributor of various orthopaedic complications. A technology-induced condition suffered by millions of smartphone users, text neck is currently one of the most prominent causes of neck pain.
What Causes Text Neck?
Text neck is a type of overuse injury, which means it appears over time with repetitive activity. Looking down at electronics for prolonged periods of time puts strain on the neck, causing neck pain and sometimes aggravating old injuries. This is why, despite its name, text neck isn’t exclusively a result of texting. Virtually any activity that involves using a mobile device — reading emails, browsing social media, and watching videos — can contribute to it.
Signs and Symptoms of Text Neck
Phones and tablets are so ingrained in work, school, and play that patients often overlook how much these gadgets contribute to neck stress. Fortunately, specialists have become exceptionally skilled at identifying the signs of text neck. As they speak with patients and conduct physical examinations, orthopaedists will often check for symptoms such as:
- Pain in the neck, back, or shoulders
- Neck and shoulder stiffness
- Headaches and eye strains
- Weakness in the neck and shoulders
How to Eliminate Text Neck
While treatment options such as massages, NSAIDs, and physical therapy can alleviate pain in the upper back and neck, the most effective way to eliminate and prevent text neck is to focus on adjusting the activities that cause it. Patients experiencing technology-related neck pain should consider making the following adjustments:
- Comfortably hold devices so they are at or near eye level.
- Take frequent breaks from device usage.
- Lower the overall amount of time spent looking at screens.
Fix Your Text Neck
If you’re suffering from neck pain or experiencing symptoms similar to the ones listed above, talk with the orthopaedic specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine. We’ll discuss the ways in which your device usage could be contributing to neck pain and perform a complete physical examination to understand whether any other factors could be adding to your stress. Fill out our online request form to schedule an appointment, or call 904-825-0540.
Brian Haycook, MD
Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Haycook has specific expertise in the latest treatment of spine related injuries.