The Surprising Truth About Neck Pain(Caused By Cell Phone Use)

Whether in the news, on social media, or even among friends, you have probably heard the phrase “Text Neck.” Although this problem is becoming more and more prevalent, it is rarely taken seriously. Many people who suffer from this condition complain of neck pain, but not everyone believes that it was caused by staring at a mobile device. The danger of Text Neck is serious.

In this article, we will look at the risks of Text Neck and how you can reduce the pain caused by this condition. 

Can Your Cell Phone Cause Neck Pain?

Cell phone use can increase pain and soreness in the neck, upper back, and shoulder area. Text Neck occurs when the head and neck are held in a flexed position for long periods, which is most common when using your cell phone to text or perform other tasks.  The forward flexion of the neck increases the forces and pressure on the neck muscles, tendons, ligaments, and discs.  Such a posture can result in chronic neck pain.

What are the risks of getting neck pain from cell phone use?

Since you’ve been staring at your device for years, you probably haven’t noticed any problems. It is essential to understand the insidious nature of this condition. Its gradual effects can lead to serious side effects. Headaches, neurological issues, depression, and heart problems are all associated with Text Neck. When you hunch over your phone, you increase the chances of a negative impact on your health. 

Symptoms of Text Neck 

Text neck is the most common cause of soreness and pain in the neck. The consequences of staring at your phone all day include:

  • Pain in the upper back ranging from chronic, nagging pain to sharp, severe muscle spasms.
  • Shoulder pain and tightness, possibly accompanied by painful shoulder muscle spasms.
  • Cervical radiculopathy (pain and neurological symptoms down your arm and into your hand if the cervical nerve is pinched) occurs when the cervical nerve is pinched.
  • The early onset of arthritis in the neck may also contribute to chronic neck pain due to text neck.

Four Ways To Reduce Your Neck Pain 

This condition is relatively new, but any occupation or activity requiring prolonged neck flexion could cause neck pain.  There are four possible remedies:

  1. Reduce your cell phone usage.
    We have become accustomed to using cell phones more and more in our work and social lives, but any reduction in cell phone usage is likely to reduce your neck pain. You can easily track your progress by keeping track of your weekly usage on most phones. It is also possible to experience neck pain from other activities, such as using a laptop or reading a book. This can be caused by any activity that keeps your neck and head flexed down.
  2. A higher holding position will help you.
    Your neck will be less stressed if you hold the phone closer to eye level so that the head/neck is in a more neutral position. In a social or business setting, it might be challenging to check your phone discreetly. 
  3. Stretch!
    You should stretch several times a day.  Your neck should be in a neutral position with your shoulders pulled back. 
  4. Consult a specialist.
    If indicated, a specialist can rule out other serious causes of neck pain and start you in a physical therapy program. 

Final Thoughts 

Text Neck can be managed with anti-inflammatory medication and interventional treatments. A long-term program of postural corrections, physical therapy, and (if necessary) pain management can also reverse the underlying causes of the symptoms. Your posture must be corrected, and the affected structures must be allowed to regain strength and range of motion by making some simple changes to your device-viewing habits. 

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