Is constant neck and shoulder pain affecting your work and family life both?Do you feel dizzy all the time, a constantly tired body and brain preventing you from giving your 100% at work place and family? Wake up!  Before your texting starts testing your mobility!

The injuries caused by a constant head forward position not in line with our centre of gravity that causes increased stress to our cervical spine or neck is referred to as text neck syndrome.

The average weight of our head is about 12-13 pounds. When our head leans forward it makes us feel heavier causing the spine to work harder to hold the head up. Leaning forward for longer periods of times causes the shifting of the head out from our centre of gravity, as a consequence we feel heaviness in the head.

Yes, for anyone spending an average of 2-3 hours a day texting on smart phones, and another 5-6 odd hours for sure, in the office, doingofficial assignments on the laptop. Taking into account now all these hours spent hunched over at a computer desk and the mobile both, isn t that a lot of extra weight on their neck and shoulders. No surprise that now they constantly complain of neck and shoulder pain, pinched nerves, dizziness, chronic headaches and strains.

How do I know if I have text neck syndrome?

When your neck pains, you feel stiffness and soreness then it is a common manifestation of a text neck. 

 The main symptoms include:

  • A stiff neck: usually after long usage of neck if you feel stiffness and difficulty in trying moving the neck
  • Pain:  It may be diffused over an area, or can be localized to one spot, or usually in the lower part of the neck. Can be described as sharp or stabbing in extreme cases or as dull aching in some cases.
  • Radiating pain: Often a times the pain radiates into the shoulders and arms.
  • Muscular weakness: shoulders muscles and shoulder external rotators often become weak.
  • Headache:  Tension type headaches.

Besides the above you may also feel these symptoms as well:

Pain Management: The help is right here.

When it comes to Text Neck, then prevention is the key. The under mentioned recommendations from a systematic review of Text Neck should be kept in mind while using smartphones or other hand held devices:

  1. Avoid too much of usage and take frequent breaks
  2. Prolonged static postures should be avoided.
  3. To reduce the stresses both on the head/neck and the upper extremities, the correct positioning of the device must be taken care of.
  4. Avoid high repetitions of Movements such as prolonged typing or swiping must not be repeatedly done.
  5. Holding large or heavy devices in one hand for long duration must also be avoided.

Rehabilitation has been found of big help and quite effective in managing and treating the stress injury resulting from Text Neck.  One can design their rehabilitation can be designed as a 2-4 week program starting with soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, active and passive stretches of tight muscles and progressing to muscle strengthening, posture retraining and home exercise program.

In acute cases, where pain relief is the main goal, the same can be achieved by:

  • Regular neck movements: rotations and side bending.
  • Chin tuck exercises.
  • Ice/heat packs.
  • Massage.
  • Regular periodic stretches.
  • Call instead of texting.
  • Limit the use of electronics.
  • Practise good posture.
  • Holding the phone at eye level.
  • Get chiropractic consultation and care.

In extreme chronic cases of pain medication, injection into the facet joint or trigger point or acupuncture can be done.It s always safer to limit the use of electronics. Just in case you find or experience that you are having the symptoms of text neck, seek chiropractic care without fail, before it becomes a chronic condition.