21 Nov Text Neck Syndrome Is a Real Thing – We Can Thank Our Technology
Lone Star Pain Medicine takes neck and shoulder pain seriously. We see a lot of different cases involving many different causes. In recent years, we have seen an increase in something now known as text neck syndrome. Yes, it is a real thing.
As the name implies, text neck syndrome is a technology-related condition. It is so named because of the pain associated with spending a lot of time using a smartphone, particularly sending and receiving text messages. That should tell you a lot of what you need to know about what text neck syndrome’s main cause is.
Text Neck and Screen Time
Text neck syndrome is closely correlated with the amount of screen time a person experiences. The more time we spend in front of our screens, the less time we spend moving and exercising. Couple that with the fact that sitting in front of computer screens or phones almost always translates into poor posture.
Think about using your phone. You don’t hold it up in front of your face, do you? No. You look down as you hold it closer to your chest or belly. This is not a problem for a minute or two. When you are looking down for extended amounts of time, you are putting stress on your neck and shoulder muscles.
Looking down at a computer screen isn’t much better. Unfortunately, most of us who use computers for work are looking at screens that are positioned lower than our shoulders. That means constantly looking down. The angle might not be as severe as looking down at a phone, but the net effect is the same.
Text Neck Symptoms
Text neck syndrome is essentially pain caused by poor posture and overuse of certain muscles in the neck and shoulders. The most common symptoms of the syndrome are neck pain and stiffness.
Interestingly, a lot of other conditions can cause neck pain and stiffness similar to what you might experience with text neck syndrome. You might be feeling the pain and stiffness but attributing it to something else. Nonetheless, there are other symptoms, including:
- pain in the upper back.
Some patients who experience text neck syndrome primarily as a result of excessive phone use also report related pain in their shoulders and arms. The best way to diagnose if your pain is from text neck syndrome is to take a break from technology and see if the pain subsides. Take a weekend off and see how it goes. If you feel better by Monday morning, it’s a pretty good bet that text neck syndrome is your issue.
An Easily Treatable Syndrome
Lone Star clinicians see all sorts of patients experiencing a variety of conditions. Some of them are more serious than others. The good news about text neck syndrome is that it is minor compared to some of the other conditions that cause neck and back pain. It is also easily treatable.
The most effective treatments involve the simple act of correcting your posture. Your doctor might recommend changing how you use your phone along with learning how to sit up straight in a chair. If you use a computer a lot, your doctor will probably recommend adjusting the setup so that you can sit properly and look at the screen level with your normal head position.
Taking regular technology breaks also helps. If you try all the posture modifications and still don’t find sufficient relief, make an appointment to see us at our Weatherford clinic. We might be able to offer additional treatments after a consultation and physical exam.