Text neck; there may be more to the condition than just your neck. 3 things you can do to get relief now.

Text neck; there may be more to the condition than just your neck. 3 things you can do to get relief now.

Text neck is described as neck pain caused by overusing our phones and looking down at it for extended periods of time It seems like everyone is on their phones constantly.

Neck pain that is being caused by the anterior posture of the neck created by hours looking at our devices is being called a text neck.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that since our necks are very heavy, leaning over your phone for hours reading and texting stuff should cause neck pain. If this assumption is true, why isn’t everyone who is constantly using their phones in pain?

As you can see in this diagram, physics suggests the more we lean over our phones, the more weight our mid-back and neck would have to adapt to.  Combine this with hours of leaning and reading, we should expect to have neck pain, stiffness, and headaches.

On the other hand, just because it seems to make sense, there are many people who look at their phones for hours and do not experience neck pain.  How are they different?

To fully understand neck pain, you must look at body styles and postures according to the book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain.  Posture begins from the ground up.   If we are asymmetrical in our feet, we will also be asymmetrical in how we bear weight from the ground up. This asymmetry will distort the pelvis which is responsible for how we transfer forces from the ground up.

From the time we are young, our body adapts to these asymmetries with the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds the musculature in the body tightening in response to the way we bear weight.  In the upper body, the body will also adapt resulting in tight fascia as well in the surrounding areas.  The result is that we look like DNA as our body distorts.  The fascial adaptations can last a lifetime, although there are ways you can change how the fascia works by seeing the proper type of healthcare practitioner.

When we turn our necks, a good amount of that motion is dependent on the core, the legs, the hips, and the mid-back and rib cage.  If these areas are distorted, and the core dysfunctional, we are likely to experience neck pain since the neck will strain with movement.

Imagine, you are built this way, and the range of motion in your neck is already compromised, is bending your neck forward to read your phone likely to aggravate the problem and cause neck pain?

Chiropractors have helped many sufferers of neck pain and “text neck” with methods such as spinal manipulation and exercises to strengthen those areas.   If neck pain often involves the entire body, don’t we need to look at the whole person to figure this out properly?  The answer of course is yes and to get the best help, you must find a holistic physician who understands the musculoskeletal system.  This would include most chiropractors and some physical therapists.

Treating “text neck” cannot work if you or your healthcare practitioner do not understand why texting is making your neck hurt.   We can never assume that if you look down, it will cause neck pain because not everyone has this experience. If you believe that you spend too much time leaning over, you can modify your texting or reading postures that are used while on your phone.  While this may improve the ergonomics of texting, some of us will find out that we are still in pain.  On the other hand, if you look at the entire picture, you are likely to get out of pain.

Three things you can do now to improve text neck.

  1. Wear inserts known as foot orthotics in your shoes if you are asymmetrically built or have flat feet. The inserts will level you hips and reduce strain on your knees and the upper body.
  2. Perform postural exercises to the posterior muscles in the back, the glutes and the legs.   This will help with core stability, important to mitigate neck pain.
  3. Find the right chiropractor to help you help yourself.