Text neck pain

Neck Pain, Or “Text Neck”

Ever wake up and suddenly your neck hurts? When this happens, people often attribute this to sleeping in the “wrong position”. However, as we are all well experienced in sleeping, it is certainly not something new to anyone and we have all had many thousands of nights of sleep. A better question would be, “why this time”, as compared to all the other nights when we slept and woke without issue.

Sometimes this happens due to a recent injury or more commonly due to build-up of tension from small repetitive stress over a period of time. Things that cause this build up of tension and stress in our shoulders and neck include long periods spent:

  • reading
  • arts and crafts
  • computer work, especially laptops
  • driving, and
  • electronic devices especially excessive texting, “Text Neck” (eg. tablets, phones).

What all these activities have in common is long periods of time spent with very little change in your posture and often accompanied with posture where your head is positioned in front of your body.

Other Symptoms
When you have neck pain, you may also experience some of the following:

  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vertigo
  • difficulty concentrating or focusing, and
  • headache.

Home Care
You can try using ice or heat as well as gentle, small neck movements to try and ease your pain. More importantly, in order to prevent worsening of your pain as well as future relapses:

  • take frequent breaks every half hour by getting up for a short walk, and
  • have proper posture where your head is positioned on top of your shoulders rather than sticking forward like a turtle.

When To Visit Your Chiropractor Or Physiotherapist
If the pain continues or worsens over the next day or two, then it is best to seek help. Some things to consider when deciding if it’s time to get help are:

  • if it is painful to turn or bend your neck
  • when you are worried that your pain can lead to other serious issues
  • if the pain has spread to other parts of your body like your arms or head, and
  • pain that comes after trauma, an accident or injury.

The main goal of physiotherapy and chiropractic care in helping your neck pain is to improve and restore proper joint movement and spinal mechanics, in particular the ones in your neck and upper back. By doing so, this improves your body’s ability to repair and recover. Other strategies used may include:

  • corrective rehabilitative stretching and strengthening exercises
  • postural recommendations, and
  • ergonomic suggestions.

Results can vary from person to person