Text neck-what it is and how to prevent it

Text neck, it’s a thing.

What is it?

Text Neck is pain, damage or discomfort in the neck and upper back as the result of looking down too long at a cell phone or other electronic device. Like any other over use syndrome, text neck occurs because a sustained demand is placed on muscles and joints without enough time for recovery. With so many people communicating by using text functions, the rate of complaints of poster neck and upper back pain is increasing.

Symptoms include, tight posterior neck and upper back muscles, and/or muscle spasms. These symptoms can become chronic.

How to prevent it?

The easy answer is to say, ‘don’t text’, but texting has become such a large part of our lives that this is not likely to happen. If you aren’t willing to ‘unplug’, here are some suggestions to help.

  1. Whenever possible, try to look at electronic devices at eye level; hold up your cell phone, prop up tablets and laptops.
  2. Take a break! Unless you are on call, you don’t need your phone with you to go for a walk, run, or dinner with the family.
  3. Turn off e-mail/messenger notifications and schedule e-mail reading times. Aside from being distracting, instant notifications can make us feel like hostages to the demands of electronics. Trust me, your friends will not be insulted if you don’t reply immediately. Plus, you’ll find you are more productive at work.
  4. Save text messaging for breaks and lunch times.
  5. Practice good posture; shoulders down and back, head up straight, belly button drawn into the spine. This will strengthen your neck support muscles and help prevent injury.
  6. When you feel the beginnings of neck and upper back discomfort see your chiropractor or massage therapist sooner rather than later. It’s much easier to help correct an over use syndrome in the early stages than when it has become chronic.

If you are suffering from neck and back related aches and pains, please come and see me at Naturmend for a consult. I offer FREE 15 min meet and greet appointments as well. I look forward to meeting you!

Dr. Jennifer Thomas, DC

Dr.Jennifer Thomas’ approach to treatment is one that focuses on each patient’s individual needs.  Techniques practiced include Diversified adjusting, and myofascial soft-tissue techniques. She believes that active patient care is an important component in the achievement of health goals, incorporating exercise and lifestyle counselling in treatment.


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