Text Neck: Dangerous Smartphone Usage September 14 2021
Are you experiencing neck, upper back, and shoulder pain? You might be suffering from “text neck”. Although text neck is not an official medical term, it is widely used for neck related pain due to improper use of your mobile device.
The neck holds up your head which weighs about 15 pounds. When you stand up straight, the weight is evenly distributed over your neck. It exerts about 10-12 pounds of force on the neck as it balances.
When you flex or bend your neck down to look at your mobile device, the force straining your neck increases exponentially. For every 10 degrees of flex, the force on the neck increases by by 10 pounds. When the neck is fully flexed down while looking at your cellphone, there is about 60 pounds of force being pushed down on your neck. This causes fatigue and soreness of the neck, upper back and shoulders.
To prevent stress on your neck while using your mobile device, simply use your arms to raise the phone to eye level, which transferred the work from your neck to your shoulder muscles. You can also use a chair with armrests to alleviate some of the effort required to look at your phone.
Treating the pain:
If there are no associated symptoms of numbness, tingling, or weakness, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be used to temporarily alleviate pain.
Once the pain has been alleviated, the next step is to establish your range of motion. Exercises such as rolling your head in a circular motion and flexing/extending your neck will help loosen up the muscles.
Shoulder elevation— bringing the shoulders as far back and far forward as possible is a great exercise as well. Chin tuck exercises are also helpful.
Half of the patients with text neck issues resolve their pain within 2 weeks and 90% within 6-8 weeks.
More workstation exercises can be seen on our website, go to "Ergo Tips" . We also give away a free workstation exercise guide if you visit our showroom in person.