Text Neck Treatment in Redondo Beach
In recent decades, advances in technology and communication have given us reasons to expand our vocabulary. Our not-so-distant relatives would be puzzled by our references to surfing on anything other than ocean waves. New medical conditions have also been recently described that might astonish and confound our ancestors. One of these is texting neck pain or cell phone neck pain.
What is Text Neck?
Text ceck or cell phone neck pain is the condition that casuses neck pain as a result of the position of the head and neck while texting or otherwise using cellular devices.
Texting and Neck Pain
Texting neck pain or cell phone neck pain occurs due to irritation and injury to the structures of the cervical or upper portion of the spine. Bending of the neck causes some stress to occur, but the problem is made severely worse by the weight of the head. The neck muscles were made to support head's weight—about 10 pounds when it is held in a neutral position. The typical "texting pose" bends the neck down, increasing the weight on the cervical spine to about 60 pounds of force.
Activities other than texting also require bending the neck and bringing the head forward, such as:
- Washing dishes
- Hand or machine sewing and other craft activities
- Welding, pottery, construction
Texting and neck pain are more closely related because we tend to keep at it for longer periods of time without changing positions. People also tend to hold their breath and keep their neck muscles tense while texting. This decreases the flow of oxygen to the tissues, increasing the risk of texting neck pain.
Text Neck Symptoms
Text neck or cell phone neck typically causes neck stiffness and pain. Wear and tear damage to the structures of the cervical spine can lead to the formation of bone spurs and the early onset of conditions like osteoarthritis. Degenerative conditions of the spine are now occurring in people much earlier in life than in the past, and these painful disorders are irreversible. Text neckpain might present in the form of headaches so it's helpful to go to a chiropractor for proper treatment. Chiropractic treatment of tension headahces are not the same as chiropractic treatment of text neck; a licensed chiropractor will know the difference. Other symptoms can occur, especially if the condition worsens.
Symptoms of text neck may include:
- Pain in the upper back that ranges from a nagging ache to sharp and severely painful muscle spasms
- Pain and stiffness in the shoulders that can lead to muscle spasms
- If a nerve is compressed or pinched, symptoms like numbness, pain, and tingling can radiate into the arm and hand.
Text Neck Treatment
The best treatment for neck pain, whatever the cause, whenever possible, is prevention. Texting isn't the only activity that involves a forward head posture. To help prevent cervical spinal stress and overload, remember the following suggestions whenever you are using a portable screen or device:
As much as possible, hold the screen at eye level. Even desktop computer monitors should be kept at eye level to prevent spinal stress. Remember to breathe while texting. Every time you hit "send" practice taking a few deep breaths to avoid texting neck pain. Take breaks frequently to stretch and move around. Set a timer or alarm to alert you at least every 30 minutes that it's time to stretch your neck and shoulders. If you're able to, getting up and walking around every half hour is ideal.
Text Neck Exercises
If you have symptoms of cell phone neck, simple at-home treatments can help. When you repeatedly look down, stressing the upper spine with the added weight of your head, the normal, natural curve of this area can become flat. In extreme cases, it can even begin to curve in the opposite direction. To help correct forward neck posture and to ease Text Neck pain and stiffness, try these simple exercises
- Fold a large bath towel in half
- Starting from the narrow end, make a towel roll
- Lie down on your back on a comfortable surface, placing the towel roll under your neck
- Relax for about 10 or 15 minutes
Completing this exercise every day will help restore the normal curve of your cervical spine and may help alleviate Text Neck pain.
- Stand up straight, with your heels, buttocks, palms, elbows, shoulders, and back of your head against a straight wall. Your arms are straight down at your side.
- Slowly bring your arms up, bending them at the elbows, so they are at a 90-degree angle to your body.
- Keeping your shoulders firm against the wall, and never lifting your arms off the wall, slowly slide your arms up, hands coming toward each other as far as possible.
- Slowly lower your arms back down, and then raise them again.
- Repeat 10 times, slowly and deliberately.
Redondo Beach Chiropractor for Neck Pain
If you have neck pain, the best thing you can do is to get it checked out. At our office in Redondo Beach, you will be thoroughly evaluated because other areas of your spine may also be affected. Chiropractic treatments focus on total wellness, not just on your symptoms. A physical examination and other tests to evaluate your body mechanics are used to diagnose what is causing your neck pain.
Your medical history is also an important part of understanding what is causing your symptoms. Imaging tests may be needed to help determine an exact diagnosis and to make sure that chiropractic care is the best treatment option for you. If other treatments are needed, your chiropractor will refer you to the appropriate specialists.
Your chiropractor care for neck pain will be based on your individual needs. A combination of manual therapy, spinal manipulation, and adjustments may be used.
Other holistic chiropractic treatment for neck pain might include:
- Trigger point therapy
- Therapeutic massage
- Ultrasound therapy
- Instruction in physical therapy exercises
Texting and technology are here to stay, but the pain that often comes with these activities doesn't have to be permanent! For more information about chiropractic care for neck pain, no matter what the cause, contact us today.