Text Neck Pain Treatment in Santa Monica, CA
Although you won't find its name in any medical textbooks—yet, the pain and discomfort text neck induces is cause for medical concern. Text neck, also referred to as tech neck, is the term used to describe an overuse syndrome or repetitive stress injury that develops due to improper posture from bending your neck forward to view your phone, tablet or e-reader. This forward head posture creates added force on the base of the cervical spine, adding anywhere from 20-60 pounds to its load, depending upon the degree to which your neck is bent.
While this type of condition is not isolated to your texting habits, the influx of smartphone users and the dependence it creates for communication has sent the condition into overdrive in recent years. And now, research supports the idea that prolonged poor posture from neck strain could lead to more severe consequences including early onset arthritis in the neck, nerve irritation, and spinal degeneration.
Fortunately, there are many habits you can adopt to avoid straining your neck when you text, read or perform any activity which causes you to bend your neck forward. There are also options to relieve your pain once text neck begins to impact your life. To schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Santa Monica who can evaluate your neck pain and make text neck pain treatment recommendations, call (424) 365-1800 or contact Vitality Integrative Medicine online.
What are the Symptoms of Text Neck?
Text neck symptoms can develop at any age; in fact, many children experience text neck symptoms due to their early exposure to electronic devices both at home and in school. The most common symptoms of text neck include:
- Neck pain, soreness, inflammation
- Chronic headaches
- Shoulder or arm pain
- Poor posture
Depending on the severity of your text neck, symptoms can be felt even at rest and rapidly intensify when the neck is bent in a forward position.
What are Text Neck Treatment Options?
If you suspect you are suffering from an overuse syndrome or repetitive stress injury to your neck, it is important to meet with a healthcare provider who can evaluate the extent of your condition. He or she will begin by conducting a physical examination and a review of your medical history and current symptoms. Imaging tests may be recommended if damage to the spine is suspected. Based on these findings, your healthcare provider may recommend one or several of the following text neck treatment options:
- Exercise, such as yoga or Pilates, which promotes proper posture and strengthens your core
- Neck stabilization exercises
- Anti-inflammatory medication or muscle relaxants
- R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation)
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
- Cold laser therapy
If there is more severe spinal damage resulting in nerve pain or disc compression, your healthcare provider may recommend additional treatments to address these concerns.
How Do You Prevent Text Neck?
In the world in which we live, it is essentially impossible to avoid smartphone and other electronic device usages. However, there are steps you can take to minimize neck strain when using these devices. To help prevent text neck, remember to:
- Take regular breaks from your phone (every 20-30 min) to allow the neck to return to its original position
- Try to hold your phone at an alternative height which brings it more eye level; alternatively, try to adjust your body position, such as lying on your side or back
- Regularly stretch the neck to keep it healthy
- Engage in exercises for text neck which help preserve posture, strengthen your core and back muscles and promote neck flexibility
Even just the awareness that your texting habits could manifest into physical health consequences can help you make better decisions when it comes to using your phone and promote body awareness.
If you are experiencing neck pain, don't ignore it. Schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in Santa Monica who can address your neck pain, headaches and more. Call (424) 365-1800 or contact Vitality Integrative Medicine online.
Vitality Integrative Medicine
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