Is your phone a pain in the neck?
First things first! What position is your neck in right now?! I BET your neck is craned forwards, shoulders hunched, looking at your phone in your lap. For the remainder of this blog I’d like you to elongate your neck, bring those shoulders back and lift your phone to eye level. I bet you don’t feel very comfortable… because your body has got used to the horrible text neck position!
So what does text neck actually mean? It is a painful condition whereby constant looking at phones, tablets, kindles, and other screens has resulted in a build-up of tension in your neck and shoulders.
We can’t blame the technology for this one, but our increasing dependence on it. Only this week I saw a teenager with constant neck pain and headaches as a result from looking at their phone way too much! Even I am guilty of getting lost in my phone and forgetting to take a break, we can do everything on them after all.
It’s time to put that phone down and put your health first. Eventually this bad posture can lead to:
- Neck and shoulder pain that can be dull or sharp in nature, many people describe it as a ‘burning’ type sensation at the base of the neck and across the shoulder
- Neck stiffness
- Upper back pain
- Trapped nerves causing arm pain and tingling into your arm and hand
How can I get rid of it?
The most important thing is to change your routine and posture. If you try to hold your phone higher up when using it, it will decrease the bend in your neck and place less strain on it.
How about getting more use out of your dinosaur of a desktop? The idea of using a desktop computer at home seems prehistoric but it really is better than staring at your phone for hours on end.
Try doing regular stretches to relieve the build-up of neck and shoulder tension. Exercises which may help include rolling the shoulders in a circular motion, elongating the neck and bringing your chin in a backwards direction (a.k.a try and give yourself a double chin), and gently side bending your ear towards your shoulder creating a stretch in the side of your neck. If you’re already in pain it’s better to speak to a professional so they can give you an exercise plan suited to you personally.
Should I see an osteopath?
YES! We are experts at treating neck, shoulder and upper back pain. Although stretching and adjusting your posture may help, unfortunately once you are experiencing pain the problem may be a bit more stubborn to relieve by yourself. As osteopaths we would be able to stretch and massage out any knots in your muscles, improve the mobility of your neck and back and give you some advice to help stop it happening again!