Do I have Text Neck?   No hot takes, just a physio’s commentary.

Do I have Text Neck? No hot takes, just a physio’s commentary.

I thought I’d do a quick little blog on a catchy term that I kept stumbling across in the media, and hear every once in a while in the clinic. 

“Text neck” is what you call a posture thrown out of whack by long periods looking down at a computer screen or phone. Unbeknownst to the general population, this catchy term which has caught major attention has caused quite a stir among those in the rehab/physio world.

A quick google search brought me to this definition provided:

“When you bend your head down to look at your screen, it forces your head forward. And for every inch your head dips forward, you place about 10 pounds of strain on your neck muscles and joints. So when you stare at a computer or a phone for hours a day, it causes the muscles in your neck and shoulders to become tight, restricted, and painful. Over time, this commonly leads to neck pain, stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and headaches.”

Now while I don’t argue that bio mechanics plays a big part, and posture choice has an influence, our bodies don’t operate in such a straightforward way. 

The most common argument used to defend the stance around “text neck” being a new generational problem is the argument that society as a whole has transitioned to extensive phone usage requiring us to look downwards. But there were many other activities before technology became so accessible that required prolonged static neck positioning.

Things like reading a book, or a newspaper, or staring at the daily crossword. 

While I do think there has been a general increase in usage of devices, it’s not fair to correlate usage to our pains. We need to dig deeper as a profession and think more holistically about our bodies. 

So what should you do? 

Between 50-80% of people experience recurrent neck pain after their first episode. 

This tells us we need to consider proper rehabilitation beyond simple pain relief.

Caught yourself sitting for hours on end? Get up, stretch, look up at the ceiling, and then down at the floor for a few seconds. Roll your shoulders, grab some water, do something that gets you moving your muscles. Remember that many factors play into what your body feels, from your outside environment and your inner physiology. 

If neck pain is recurring for you, consider seeing a physiotherapist like myself  for a proper treatment plan to address your neck pain. 

After all, why wait to treat your injuries when you can get ahead of them? 

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