Preventing Text Neck

TEXT NECK. This term is used to describe the neck pain associated with looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or other device too often and for too long of a duration. Today’s technological and mobile world means that we use our phones or tablets for almost everything it seems. Text messages, phone calls, work calendars, social media: we’re glued to our phones almost constantly. What can we do to combat text neck without giving up our devices all together?

Take a Break

Taking a break from your device is important, and doesn’t necessarily mean stopping use altogether. Instead try these handy ideas for breaks to relieve not only text neck, but other phone related issues:

  • Avoid prolonged durations, keeping continuous phone use to a maximum of 5 minutes
  • Alternate neck/back positions frequently to break up static postures
  • Alternate hands to minimize static gripping and awkward hand/wrist postures
  • Be conscious and aware of your postures always

Hold Your Phone at Eye Level

As odd as this may look, holding your phone up higher will force you to hold your head and neck in a more neutral, desirable position. As well, looking at your phone this way has a time restriction as your shoulders are likely to tire quickly.

Stretch It Out

Stretching the associated neck muscles can help to relieve discomfort from ‘text neck’. Set an alarm as a reminder and aim to perform 2-3 stretches every hour to keep the muscles loose and attempt to prevent pain. Examples of stretches include: 1) upper trap stretch, 2) lev scap stretch, and 3) upper back stretch.

Use Voice to Text

Attempt to lessen the strain on your neck by implementing voice to text applications on your device. You can use them to compose text messages, emails, and social media posts, reducing the need to look down at your device while typing.

In our technological world, our smartphones are only increasing in use, but these few tips can help to mitigate the strain to the neck and upper back. It may require some self-awareness and self-discipline, but give it a try for yourself and see how it feels.

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