Is your phone a pain in the neck?

There’s no mystery when it comes to the rise in mobile phone use and the increase in people suffering with neck pain. Technology is ever present and while phones get bigger, better screens and more capabilities the way in which we use them never changes. Many of us will sit on the train or the bus staring at our phones. We may get home from work and sit on the sofa with our phones or perhaps we’re wandering along the street listening to music but looking at our phone on the go.

Your neck is taking the strain

In each case our head is down, our shoulders often tensed round our ears, and the top of our back rounded. Our neck is taking the strain of our technology. The head is the heaviest part of the body weighing around 5kg and the more we tilt our head forward, the more pressure we put on our neck. So when we sit for a long period of time with our head bowed over our phone, it can take its toll on our neck causing occipital neuralgia or what’s now commonly known as text neck.

What is text neck?

Text neck is the pain felt after looking down at your phone, tablet or other device for a long period of time. When we look at our device this way we are pushing our head forwards into an unnatural position, putting stress and strain on the surrounding muscles and ligaments. Putting the head in this position also has a direct effect on the spine.

What can we do about it?

Technology isn’t going away but we can take a few simple steps to prevent the onset of text neck. Mason Clinic osteopath Andrew Allen said: “I often see this with a new piece of technology – it often brings with it a tight neck from hours of staring at it. If you have your head in a funny position then be careful not to spend any length of time in that position.”

How to avoid text neck

  • Don’t stay in the same position for too long
  • Get up and move around
  • Stand up while looking at your phone – you are less likely to lose time staring at it than sat on the sofa
  • Only check your phone if there is a reason to
  • Think about your posture when you’re checking your phone
  • If you’re suffering from neck pain and would like to book an appointment with an osteopath at the Mason Clinic call 01634 842583