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Could Phone Use Cause Your Neck Pain?

The human head weighs about 12 pounds, and increasing electronic device use has contributed to poor posture and neck pain. As the neck bends down and forward, your 12-pound head pulls the cervical spine down, resulting in pain — a phenomenon referred to as “text neck.”

KureSmart Pain Management helps patients relieve chronic pain, allowing them to live their lives pain-free. Try these tips to relieve your neck pain.

Doctor examining his patient neck

What is Text Neck?

Depending on the angle of the neck, what was originally about 12 pounds can increase to 30-60 pounds of additional weight on the cervical spine. Over time, this can lead to muscle strain, degeneration, pain, and depending on the severity, surgery. This syndrome is colloquially called “text neck,” but is clinically called “anterior head syndrome.”

WHAT ARE TEXT NECK SYMPTOMS?

Anterior head syndrome is an overuse injury with several symptoms. Neck and shoulder pain are common, as is upper back pain ranging from dull discomfort to severe muscle spasms. If ignored, these symptoms can lead to intractable pain that does not go away.

HOW TO TREAT TEXT NECK

Improving posture is the first step to relieving pain caused by phone use. Try to avoid long periods of bending your neck forward by raising your phone to eye level or adjusting your sitting position to change how your neck is positioned. Take frequent breaks to allow the neck muscles to rest.

You can also try performing some stretches or yoga to actively open up the muscle groups that are affected by text neck. For example, try the exaggerated nod:

  1. Sit upright in a comfortable position. With your mouth closed, relax the shoulders and slowly lean your head back to look at the ceiling.
  2. Once you can see the ceiling, try to move your head back another inch or two.
  3. Slowly open and close your mouth to stretch the front of your neck.

Schedule A Pain Management Consultation

For neck pain that is not alleviated with these tips, contact your physical therapist team at KureSmart Pain Management for further specialized and individualized treatment.


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