Neck pain affects 1 in 3 people in the United States, and there are dozens of causes for it. Some folks experience neck pain after getting into a traffic accident, whereas other cases of neck pain are related to nerve compression or osteoarthritis. Believe it or not, neck pain can also occur as a result of excessive smartphone use. This type of neck pain has become so common that experts even coined the term “text neck” to describe it. Here’s how to spot the signs of text neck and what to do if your smartphone is causing neck pain.
The term “text neck” refers to the posture that can develop when you spend too much time looking down at your smartphone. Every time you glance down at your smartphone, your head moves forward and your shoulders round and lift toward your ears.
This posture increases the force applied to your spine. According to experts, tilting your head forward by 15 degrees adds an extra 27 pounds of force to the neck. The force increases to 40 pounds at 30 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees. Your neck is not capable of supporting this type of weight for prolonged periods of time, which is why text neck causes pain and discomfort!
Some of the most common symptoms of text neck include:
Feeling any of these symptoms means you may be suffering from text neck.
There are many different ways to fix text neck and relieve the pain and discomfort associated with this condition. Here’s what to do:
After you try these simple fixes, if you find they haven’t been effective, talk to your doctor about treatment options. Your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medications, a physical therapy program, visiting a chiropractor or massage therapist, or give you a referral to a pain management doctor the other treatment options don’t solve the problem.