Text neck syndrome is an overuse injury that typically results from excessive strain on the neck from looking down at one’s smartphone. The name was adopted for obvious reasons, given that the condition became prevalent with the proliferation of SMS texting as a primary form of communication in the digital era. It also applies to the strain and pain to come from mobile-device gaming and content streaming. In all of these scenarios, cervical spinal degeneration is the result of the repeated stress of frequent forward head bending.

It’s an issue that needs to be nipped in the bud before it becomes an endemic condition in our society. The WHO Global Burden of Disease states that text neck ranks higher than asthma, alcohol use, drug use, and road injury as adolescent health problems. Of course, it has already become a problem that impacts your physical wellness. It’s why you’re online and searching for text neck chiropractic and/or tips for how to prevent text neck from burdening your life. You’ve come to the right place on both accounts. Let’s review!

5 Practical Tips for How to Prevent Sore Neck from Texting and Using Your Smartphone and Mobile Devices

Text Neck Chiropractic Edmonton Alberta1. Know Symptoms to Watch Out For

It’s essential to first identify whether or not you’re experiencing cervical spinal degeneration from smartphone use. By knowing the symptoms to watch out for, you can take immediate corrective action, which is detailed later in this article.

Below is a breakdown of symptoms common to text neck syndrome:

    • Upper back and/or neck pain that occurs and/or significantly increases when you hold and look at your mobile device.
    • Persistent and/or sharp neck, trapezius, or shoulders pain.
    • Periodic or chronic headaches worsen when you bend your head to look down at your smartphone.
    • Lower jaw pain.
    • Corresponding (with any of the above) eye pain and dizziness.

Disclaimer: While it’s important to recognize that you may be experiencing text neck, you should never self-diagnose. What you think may be text neck could be a deeper underlying problem. If you exhibit a combination of any of the above you may certainly follow the best practices laid out below as they are beneficial regardless. That said, contact a chiropractor near you for a professional assessment.

2. Warm-Up…Before Texting?

You warm up (well, at least you should) before playing sports and working out to avoid injury. Moving forward, afford your neck the same consideration before using your smartphone for a significant time. 

Whether preparing for a texting marathon with your SMS-chatty best friend, a smartphone gaming session, or a long-winded email to corporate from your phone, you will need to warm up. You don’t need to roll-out an exercise mat at Starbucks to do so. Instead, run through a brief but effective regime of the following:

    • Chin tucks
    • Tilt-back neck stretches
    • Head tilts
    • Neck rolls
    • Shoulder blade squeezes

When you are at home or somewhere convenient, you may perform standing resistance band rows and try using a foam roller on your mid to upper back. 

Simply get into the habit of performing these (and other chiropractic-prescribed movements) exercises/stretches in the morning, midday, and again at night. Do so consistently, and you’ll be on the way to alleviating text neck pain and discomfort.

3. Give It a Rest

Remember when your parent or companion (as applicable) told you to put the phone down to go outside and enjoy real life? Even if they were speaking holistically, they were doing your cervical spinal degeneration a good service.

Take frequent breaks from your smartphone throughout the day, especially when you don’t need it to communicate with colleagues and/or clients. For example, if you habitually scroll through TikTok while in line at your local cafe, kill that habit immediately. Instead, look up and read the menu board or start a conversation with someone in line. If you sit on the sofa at the end of the day with your iPad in hand watching HBO Max, keep your head up and watch TV on the wall like you used to. If you text while at the gym, tuck the phone away in the locker and keep your body occupied with weights, bands, and equipment. These are just examples of mobile device overuse. By stopping these daily behaviours right away, you give your overworked neck muscles a much needed break.

4. Use Proper Form

Just like you need to follow proper body positioning while driving, in the gym, or when playing a sport, you must be equally mindful when using your mobile devices. Texting (etc.) best practices include the following:

    • Raise your smartphone to eye level so your head doesn’t tilt and strain your neck.
    • Stand up straight and maintain good posture, with your shoulders pulled back while keeping your body aligned in a neutral position.
    • If engaged in a long texting/email exchange (etc.), be sure to arch your neck and upper back backward periodically to ease muscle strain.
    • Use both hands to text/type/swipe/tap to maintain proper side-to-side balance.
    • Text, type, and tap in a calm manner, especially when engaging in a stressful exchange. Tapping away too quickly when dealing with a stressful situation can inflate anxiety and accentuate poor form, exponentially increasing the potential for neck pain and strain.

5. CALL (don’t text) to Consult with a Chiropractor

Let’s return to the point that concluded the first practical tip above. The best way to diagnose and treat text pain is to consult a professional chiropractor. Treatments may include (but are not exclusive to) the following:

    • Joint mobilization exercises
    • Posture correction exercises
    • Neck stabilization exercises
    • K-taping techniques
    • Soft tissue massage

If you reside in Millwoods or anywhere in the Edmonton, AB area, call 780-462-6060 to schedule your consultation. Otherwise, perform your warmup and use proper form to complete this BOOK APPOINTMENT form from your mobile device.