Text neck syndrome
Term text neck syndrome refers to neck pain or stiffness due to improper posture and prolonged leaning forward of the neck. Most commonly while reading, using mobile phones, and writing when the neck is bent. Due to increased stress on muscles, we often experience pain in the shoulders, cervical region, and headache. It can also lead to thoracic hyper-kyphosis. This syndrome is increasing day by day as mobile phone use is getting very common and prevalent in the younger populations all over the world. One survey from 2020 shows that there are 3.5 billion mobile users across the world. We use mobile phones for almost five hours a day. 7 out of 10 people suffer from neck pain and stiffness issues.
This posture causes muscle stiffness, tightness of muscles, ligaments, and tendons in front of the neck. While on backside causes lengthening of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The human head weighs about 10 pounds, and head at each inch is tilted forward. So the weight on the neck becomes double, and strain increases. But we can’t give up mobile phone use, because this is not the only solution. We can modify our postures and introduce exercise in our daily routine. Exercise and posture modification is the only way to get rid of text neck syndrome.
Symptoms of text neck syndrome
Forward tilting of the head causes neck pain. A neck tilt of 15 degrees places 27 pounds force on the neck, and this force keeps on increasing as the neck tilt increases. The symptoms might start from neck soreness, neck pain, and stiffness if the symptoms are left untreated it might lead to overuse syndrome. Symptoms might include pain in the neck and shoulders. Though medications can temporarily relieve pain with impaired posture, this pain returns back soon.
- Tingling and numbness in upper limb
- Tightness of muscles around shoulder and neck
- Intermittent headache
- Eye pain
- Soreness in shoulders
- Chronic headache
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle stiffness
- Disc compression
- Rounded shoulders
How to prevent Text neck syndrome
To prevent text neck syndrome we need to modify our posture, introduce an exercise routine, avoid tilting your neck and shoulders forward, try to keep your neck straight to the maximum possible degree. Keep changing your posture instead of keeping your body in a single posture for a long time. Follow the given instructions to avoid strain on your neck muscles.
- Set reminders and change your posture time to time
- Take breaks while using mobile phones
- Keep your device at the level of your eyes
- Keep doing small neck movements or stretching
- Modify your posture
- Add neck stretching and exercises in routine
Treatment and Management
Physiotherapy relaxes your stiffened muscles and exercise helps to strengthen your muscles. Postural adjustment plays a major role to keep you physically fit and healthy. Keep a balance in your posture and the time duration of using a mobile phone. Moreover, there are different mobile applications designed for this purpose. These apps keep a check on mobile screen degrees of tilt. If it is beyond normal angle it immediately sends you an alert notification to align yourself. Icing and heat pack, massage, and different exercises help to treat text neck syndrome.