‘Text Neck’ Syndrome – it’s a real thing

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Text neck, sometimes called tech neck, is a repetitive stress injury caused by constantly looking down at your smartphone, laptop or other mobile device. It’s a form of neck strain, and as your neck has a 24/7 job, tech neck, amongst other things, takes a toll over the course of your life. Too many hours hunched over your smartphone can strain those muscles and tendons. Too much time hunched over anything - including your computer or workbench - can do the same thing.

Adjustments to Prevent Neck Pain While Texting

  • Take frequent breaks. Spend some time away from the phone—or any type of head-forward posture. Change positions when texting—lying on one's back is an excellent way to relieve pressure on the neck.
  • Stand up straight. Good posture, with the shoulders pulled back, keeps the body aligned in a neutral position.
  • Arch and stretch. Arch the neck and upper back backward periodically to ease muscle pain.
  • Stay fit. A strong, flexible back and neck are more able to handle extra stress.

Stretches to Keep the Neck Healthy

Simple neck and shoulder stretches are also important to improve blood flow and relieve tension, for example:

  • Tuck the chin down toward the neck; then slowly raise it up toward the ceiling.
  • Rotate the head so that it is looking out over one shoulder, then turn slowly and rotate in the other direction.
  • Rotate the shoulders in a clockwise direction while holding the arms down by the sides of the body; repeat in a counter clockwise direction.

Treatment for Neck Strain

The bottom line is:  don’t hold your head in unusual positions if you don’t have to.  If you do, try to take breaks often and move your neck in other directions to keep your muscles loose.  If you're in pain, rest and over-the-counter medications can help.  See your doctor if it still hurts after a few days or you can’t move it like you could before.

Sources:
www.spine-health.com
www.healthxchange.com

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