You may not have heard of “text neck,” even if you have it. Text neck isn’t a formal diagnosis but a slang term for a condition caused by the repetitive stress of excessive texting. Holding the neck in a constant downward position when using a mobile device can cause pain and inflammation in the neck and shoulders. A personalized pain management plan can be highly effective in relieving symptoms. Here we will talk about text neck symptoms and how you can help relieve the pain associated with it.
Common Text Neck Symptoms
The symptoms associated with mobile device overuse may be constant or intermittent and mild or severe.
Pain in the shoulders, upper back, or neck is the most common complaint associated with text neck. Those affected may feel a deep ache, stabbing or burning pain in a specific spot, or general achiness throughout the region. It is not unusual for pain to emanate from the base of the head into the upper back.
2. Poor Posture
A prolonged forward head posture may cause muscles to become imbalanced, potentially making it difficult to maintain good posture with the ears aligned directly over the shoulders. Muscle structures in the chest, neck and upper back can end up pulling the head forward, even when one is not engaged in texting or using a device.
Misalignment of the cervical spine, as well as tight, strained muscles at the base of the neck, can spasm or cause headache pain. Long periods of looking at a screen can increase the risk of headache and eyestrain.
4. Limited Mobility
When the muscles in the neck and upper back become tight, they may experience a loss of mobility. The normal range of motion of a person’s neck can become limited, and they may feel like their shoulders are “stuck” and don’t move as freely as they once did.
5. Unable to Flex the Neck
Once the symptoms of text neck progress, even holding the neck in the forward position may become uncomfortable. Looking downward to text or read may cause pain that worsens each time you try to use your mobile device.
6. Uncommon Symptoms
Feeling electrical shock pain or pins-and-needles sensations radiating down the neck into the arms and hands can also occur. Balance issues caused by prolonged periods of holding a forward posture and jaw pain may also indicate you’re spending too much time looking at a mobile device.
What Can Help with Text Neck?
First, limit your screen time. Be aware of your posture while texting or reading on a mobile device. If simple habit changes don’t improve the condition, it may be time to see a health care professional to explore natural, non-invasive treatments that may be able to reduce pain and inflammation and treat musculoskeletal conditions.
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