by Dr. Michael Baranov, PT, June 10, 2015
If your smartphone is becoming a real pain in the neck, come see a specialist in Fresh Meadows, NY – the clinicians at MBF Rehab.
Remember the good old days when the only electronics related injury we had to worry about was carpal tunnel syndrome from our wrists not having proper support when using a keyboard all day? Unfortunately, there are so many more devices with an all new world of associated aches and pains. Welcome to the world of “text neck.”
As the smartphone is becoming more and more tethered to our bodies these days, an all new condition known as “text neck” has become increasingly prevalent due to increased hunching over smartphones for texting purposes.
Think this sounds a bit crazy? The doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are seeing this condition too.
Virtually unheard of two years ago, “text neck” is a repetitive strain injury that’s becoming more common as more people hunch over smartphones. Aggravating muscle pain in the neck and shoulders, and sometimes lower back, is occurring even in teens and adolescents.
“Typically, incidence of neck pain increases with age. But today we’re seeing and treating more patients — younger patients — who never reported neck pain before,” says Robert Bolash, MD, a pain specialist at Cleveland Clinic. Reference: Text Neck: Is Smartphone Use Causing Your Neck Pain?
Here’s how the anatomy of it all works:
- You look down to focus on the virtual keyboard of your smartphone.
- You bend your head downward, which simultaneously causes your neck to move forward. This raises and rounds your shoulders in an upward motion.
- Your neck and shoulders spasm from this unnatural motion causing the dreaded text neck.
Given the fact that teenagers and young adults seem to be texting in a non-stop manner, specialists are witnessing exponentially more cases of reported neck and shoulder pain from these age groups than ever before. Here are some tips to attempt to eliminate text neck:
- Stand up straight – Our mothers and grandmothers have been telling us this for generations, but it’s true. We need to straighten our posture and properly align our ears with our shoulders in a virtual vertical line for the healthiest positioning.
- Stretch – Good posture just isn’t all that easy for some of us. Try stretching your neck and shoulders slightly backward for proper alignment.
- Eyes Forward Please – Instead of leaning your neck and shoulders forward and down to read your device, try raising your device to the level of your eyes instead. This should eliminate any craning and unnatural neck and shoulder spasms.
So, there you have it. The potential cause and cures for the condition of the new generation known as text neck. I wonder what sort of new injuries are on the horizon for Apple Watch and Google Glass?
For treatment from a high quality neck pain specialist in Fresh Meadows NY, please contact us at “MBF Rehab Physical/Occupational Therapy.”