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Can Physical Therapy Help with Text Neck?
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Tablets and smartphones have put human beings in a trance-like state. Take a look around and you will find people, both old and young, mesmerized by these handheld devices. Everyone is tapping away blissfully. However, their bliss may bring them neck pain in the future.

If you’re a hardcore texter, you may experience neck pain from using your smart device too much. The term used to denote this kind of pain is ‘text neck’. Text neck occurs when a person keeps their neck in flexed position for hours while surfing the web, reading their favorite articles or texting.

If your neck pain gets worse from using handheld devices like a smartphone, you may have text neck. Physical therapy can help manage this condition. Before we discuss how physical therapy can help with text neck, we would want to highlight a few common symptoms of this condition.

Text Neck Symptoms

If you notice these symptoms, you may be suffering from text neck:
  • Pain in neck
  • Pain that only occurs on one side of the neck, arm or shoulder blade
  • Tingling or numbness in the fingers, hand, or arm
  • Weakness in hand or arm
  • Difficult lifting head up or stiffness in the neck
Text Neck Treatment with Physical Therapy

If you’re experiencing pain in the neck because of text neck, a physician may refer you to a physiotherapist for treatment. A physiotherapist may create a physical therapy program to decrease the pain and improve neck mobility.

Common Treatments:

• Posture Correction

Since neck pain from text neck results from maintaining neck in a flexed position, your physiotherapist will probably teach you how you can attain proper posture and maintain it. This can reduce stress from your neck and help minimize pain.

• Modification of Aggravating Factors

Text neck results from flexing the head forward when you’re using a smart device. So, your physiotherapist may offer strategies that’ll help you understand the relationship between your pain and handheld device usage positions. They may tell you to sit in an upright position when you’re looking down on your device or texting.

• Exercises

Your physiotherapist may teach you exercises that’ll counteract the pressure and stress caused by text neck. Exercises to relieve pain include:
  • Cervical extension
  • Cervical retraction
  • Scapular stabilization exercises
Your physiotherapist may offer therapeutic modalities such as heat, ice or ultrasound for your text neck. However, since this problem results from increased mechanical force to your neck, such treatments won’t provide a lasting benefit. You must modify your body and head position while using smartphone devices to get permanent relief from neck pain. If you start following the advice of your physical therapist, pain may eventually go away.



 
 
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