What is “Text Neck”?
“Text neck” is neck pain occurring from hunching over while using cellphones. The growing dependence and cultural addiction to technology have multiplied the time spent with this poor posture. Many people with symptoms have a hard time believing this mundane activity can be the source to their problems.
However, they don’t realize the effects have accumulated over the years of cellphone usage. Thus, “text neck” is very real and if left untreated, it can lead to headaches, neurological issues and definitely neck pain.
What Causes Text Neck?
Constantly keeping your posture which is not optimal for human body can put unnecessary extra strain on your neck/upper body (cervical and thoracic) area. When you use your phone, tablet, computer for an extended amount of time with poor posture can lead to many problems such as herniated disks, pinched nerves, and tight knots (trigger points) in muscles. Also, stretching tissues for too long can cause soreness and inflammation.
How Physical Therapy can Help?
Physical Therapy Great Neck, NY can help decrease neck pain and improve mobility. During a patient’s initial evaluation, a physical therapist may measure the neck’s range of motion, and trigger point (tight knot), the strength of neck and upper body muscles. He/she may also look for an imbalance in your postural muscles, a leading factor for neck pain.
With this information, an individualized treatment plan will be created to alleviate pain and to meet the patient’s goals. Most people do see improvement after a few sessions and symptoms usually disappear after 3 to 4 weeks of consistent physical therapy and following exercises protocol and being aware of posture all the time.
Postural Correction: “Text Neck” causes people to make a hunched-over position. A physical therapist will teach and educate you to remind what proper posture to maintain. For example, sitting while retracting your shoulders will take some stress off the neck, thereby reducing the pain. The therapist may also recommend right ergonomics to use computer, phone and tablets.
Prevention Tips: The physical therapist will recommend a pain-free way to use your phone. One way is to keeping your head in a neutral position and simply looking down with your eyes. Another advice the therapist can give would be to use certain accessories to prop up your tablet so you can keep your head in a neutral position.
Exercises: The physical therapist will most likely prescribe exercises to reduce the stress and pressure from poor posture. These exercises can include shoulder retraction, cervical isometric, cervical extension, and scapular stabilization exercises for postural control.
Modalities: If appropriate, the physical therapist may incorporate modalities like heat and electrical stimulation to provide temporary relief.