First it was “Texting Thumb”, tendinitis caused by excess cell phone keyboarding, now it’s “Texters Neck”. As people spend less time on desktops and more time on their smartphones and tablets interacting through texting, emailing, and “googling”, there’s been an increase in neck pain and headache complaints.
Most people remember the adorable scene in Jerry McGuire where the little boy states: “Did you know the human head weighs 8 pounds!?” 8 pounds is a lot. We know that when we hold a weight and move it further away from our body it increases the lever arm and actually feels heavier. This is true for our head also. When we flex our head and neck forward it actually increases the weight of our head. This increased weight held over time, as we try to get to the next level of Candy Crush or Angry Birds, causes our muscles, tendons and ligaments in our neck and shoulders extra strain over time. This can cause pain locally and increased strain to the tissues leading to muscle tension and even headaches.
Keeping your phone or tablet propped in from of you, as well as decreasing the amount of time being spent using it at one time will be helpful. If you’re planning on spending a
longer period of time with a task consider using an actual work station that has been set up ergonomically. Physiotherapy and Massage Therapy can be helpful to alleviate pain and discomfort as well as to teach some postural strengthening exercises but if some changes aren’t made it can be a recurring issue.
Make sure to take time periodically to look up and stretch so texting and games don’t become a pain in the neck!
Palermo Physiotherapy and Wellness Centre provides personalized Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy and Chiropody foot care to Oakville and the surrounding areas.