Looking down enhances the forward posture. For every inch in front you hold your head, the weight carried through the spine increases by 10 pounds. Looking down puts pressure on the front of the neck and gaps in the back. This is very problematic as it can cause the intervertebral discs to move backwards, thus increasing the chances of disc bulges.
Most people spend a large percentage of their time each day looking at their cell phones. It makes sense, based on how much information we have received and passed on through our phones. It is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends, to send messages to people we know, or to be informed of the latest news in many aspects of our lives.
What to know about text neck
You may have heard the word “text neck” in the news, on social media, or in conversations between friends. Although this situation is increasingly debated, it has not yet been taken seriously. A number of our patients complain of symptoms of this condition, although not all believe their neck pain started and look at their phones. Text neck is real and has high risks.
Text neck describes a recurrent traumatic stress or excessive illness in the neck, caused by prolonged use of mobile devices with the head tilted down and not moving. Also called tech neck, text neck is usually associated with texting, but can be associated with many activities performed on phones and tablets while looking down, such as using the web, playing games, or working out.
This posture is not entirely new; people have done this for centuries with books, drawings, sewing, and many other activities. The situation is known as the “text neck” because the proliferation of mobile devices, and our cultural intoxication to them, has increased the amount of time we spend hugging.
The course of text neck
Neck pain usually begins as a weak pain in the neck or upper back. It can also present with severe pain or stiffness in the neck. When the neck of the text is suspected to cause pain, it is usually treated with a combination of:
- Reduce the use of the phone / tablet for important tasks.
- Use the best posture by holding the equipment closer to eye level.
- Exercise and stretch that focuses on the neck, chest, and upper back.
If left untreated, the posture of the head forward and the shoulders rested may temporarily worsen, which may cause further pain and reduce mobility in the neck, upper back, and shoulders.
In some cases, excessive head position can exacerbate or accelerate the deterioration of the cervical spine, such as cervical disc disease or cervical spondylosis.
What condition lead to neck pain from looking down
One of the most common causes of neck pain is looking down too often. We know that may seem absurd because you cannot live your whole life without looking down. Don’t worry, we don’t ask.
When a patient comes to complain of neck pain, they usually ask them what activities they look down on most often. The main characters are mobile phones and laptops. In fact, neck pain caused by looking down is often referred to as ‘text neck’.
Although the point of view below is small, the level of pressure placed on your neck increases with the frequency of that step. That is, looking down to write a check should not cause you pain, but looking down to work from a laptop eight hours a day, five days a week would be.
Lower looking pressure will start to build up in your neck, possibly causing neck pain or soreness, high muscle spasms, and even premature disc deterioration.
Symptoms of neck pain from looking down
The most common symptom associated with neck pain from looking down is pain in the upper back, neck, and shoulders, although the pain may spread to your fingers. You may also experience headaches. Text neck symptoms usually include one or more of the following:
Increased pain when neck stiffness; Text neck symptoms become worse when the neck is shifted to a position that previously caused the problem, such as when looking down and sending short messages.
Balance issues; The long range in the position of the front head is linked to the reduction of balance control, because of the center of gravity of the head moving in front of the body. This process can lead to muscle imbalance and changes in postural control in the neck and torso.
Forward head posture and rounded shoulders; The muscles in the neck, chest, and upper back can be reduced horizontally because of the long head position. This cut can make it difficult to maintain good posture with ears directly on the shoulders.
Headache; The muscles under the neck can get into a spasm and become painful, or the pain can also be released from the neck to the head. Excessive screen time, regardless of posture, can also increase the risk of eye strain and headaches.
Neck pain, upper back or shoulder; This pain may be in one specific area and feel severe or burning, or it may be generalized pain and soreness that covers a wide region, such as from the bottom of the neck and to the foot.
Jaw pain; Cervical spinal distortion or muscle imbalance can lead to jaw pain, or temporomandibular joint pain.
Where and how the pain is felt can vary from case to case. For example, a person who looks at the phone screen while using both hands may experience pain that is evenly distributed around the upper neck, while a person who uses one hand may experience more pain on one side because of overuse or stretching.
Causes of neck pain from looking down
As the name implies, the main reason is the amount of time spent looking at your phone. When you hang your head forward, the weight of your head increases so the force placed on the neck also increases. Your muscles, joints, and nerves experience stress when they work hard together to hold your head at dangerous angles.
So what can cause pain in the neck when you look down? Here are a few possible scenarios and injuries that can be criminal:
- Soft tissue or muscle art. If the pain in your neck is severe and only occurs when you move your head, it could be a soft tissue injury to the neck. Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury on the neck.
- Spinal or Herniated Discs on the Cervical spine. When records are out of place they can invade nerves and objects around the spine and cause pain.
Prevention of neck pain from looking down
Experts recommend a few reasonable rules:
- Hold your cell phone at eye level, or near it, like a computer desk on a desk.
- Set a daily alarm on your phone to remind you to take regular breaks.
- Exercise vigorously to stay flexible, and bend your neck and upper back to reduce tension and stress.
- Try to minimize activities that keep your head in the forefront.
Several mobile apps are available to discourage text messaging. They monitor the phone’s horn, and perhaps your head and neck, and warn you to make adjustments. Text neck indicators, for example, sends text to notify the phone user of a change of position. We determined that your mobile device has an angle that puts you at risk for a text neck.
Treatment of neck pain from looking down
Treatment will depend on the diagnosis. If the pain is the result of a whiplash or muscle strain, treatment can be conservative in nature, with bracing, relaxation, and pain medication. Herniated discs in the neck will need further treatment and may require injections, or surgery.
1. Get a text neck massage
Massage is a popular way to reduce pain, in part because it can be very effective and in part because it feels just right. You don’t have to go out and pay for a masseuse to enjoy the benefits of a good massage, though. Personal massage is a quick and economical way to get pain.
You can learn a few basic techniques and then apply them anytime and anywhere you feel the need. If you have the time, budget, and desire for professional massage, there are several styles to choose from. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. Read about different types of massage and choose the one that suits your needs.
2. Change your behavior
Don’t worry you won’t have to stop sending messages together – but keep track of the time you spend looking at devices, and taking regular breaks. New iOS phones have internal monitors so you can see how much time you spend on your phone. Monitoring apps are also available for both iOS and Android devices.
When using the device, try to keep it at eye level so that you do not bend forward to see the screen. Lastly, check your posture regularly, even when you are not using your phone. Is your head tilted forward? Are your shoulders dormant? If so, you may want to learn more about how good posture looks and how you can achieve it.
These are small actions, but do not underestimate how much they can do to your pain. As mentioned earlier, the neck of the text is caused by excessive bending forward. By becoming more aware of your posture and texting habits, many of your neck symptoms may disappear without further treatment.
3. Physical therapy for text neck
As we have said before, physical therapy can be very effective in relieving chronic pain, more so than medication. For further reassurance, it has a good track record of success in text neck cases.
A physiotherapist will use a number of treatments to reduce or even eliminate neck pain. These methods can include exercise, heat / ice therapy, joint tricks, guidance on changing your daily routine, and much more. The actual treatment used will depend on you and your needs.
4. Make your work station ergonomic
While most of us sit at desks watching the computer all day, most of us can make simple, post-friendly adjustments. Choose a desk-combo combo that promotes good posture by allowing you to sit with your feet firmly planted on the ground, elbows at an angle of 90 degrees while resting your hands on the desk.
Keep your computer screen 18-24 inches from your head (approximately arm’s length), and above the hunter at eye level so you don’t have to look at it all the time to see what’s on your screen.
Exercising and stretching can be done at home to improve neck strength and flexibility, as well as reduce head posture. Although each case is unique, achieving chronic pain from a stiff neck usually takes the promise of regular exercise and stretching in the home environment.
Do the following several exercises 2-3 times a day, 3-4 sets of each exercise:
- Gently move your head forward, touch your chin to your chest, hold for five seconds, then release.
- Roll your head left until you feel a slight stretch. Hold for five seconds, then repeat right.
- Push your head forward until you feel a stretch through your throat. Hold for five seconds, then release.
- Gently lower your head to the side, trying to touch your ear to your shoulder, until you feel a slight stretch. Hold for five seconds, remove, then repeat on the other side.
- Squeeze and tighten the muscles between your ears and your collar for about a minute.
- Sitting or standing with feet shoulder-width apart, lower your shoulders together. Hold for five seconds, then release. Try to repeat 10-15.
Any exercise program to help ease the pain of a stiff neck and reduce the posture of the head forward usually involves addressing and reversing this muscle balance in order to restore the posture to its original position.
When you get a few minutes during your day, stop stretching your neck and reset your brain. Tilt your head from left to right a few times. Look over your left shoulder, and then slowly turn your head to look over your right shoulder. Slap your shoulders and neck.
Anything you can do to move those hard muscles will pay off. Also stand upright; A good posture, with the chin tucked in and the shoulders pulled back, keeps the body straight in a neutral position.