Dr. Shreyash M. Gajjar
Centre for Arthroscopy & Sports Orthopaedics Centre for Arthroscopy & Sports Orthopaedics
24 August 2018
Text Neck : Symptoms and ways to manage it


Text Neck, the modern spine ailment that’s bending the neck commonly.
There is a new buzzword in the health industry: Text Neck

Tech Neck- How it happens?

Text Neck is the term used for the damage caused in the neck and damages sustained from looking down using cell phones, tablets and other wireless devices too frequently.  This problem is becoming increasingly common. 
When hooked to the phone, laptop or tablet, we may ignore sudden neck pain or stiffness around the shoulder region. But beware this could be a Text Neck condition setting in. It’s a new ailment that is often ignored until it gets worse thereby requiring urgent medical attention.
A patient experiences severe, acute and upper back muscle strain due to hours spent hunched over cell phone. Of course, this posture of bending your neck to look down does not occur only when texting. For years, one has spent time in reading books but problem is, texting adds one more activity on daily basis that causes us to look down and people tends to do the same for longer time. This could cause permanent damage to the cervical spines that could lead to lifelong neck pain.

Symptoms associated with text neck

Stiff neck: soreness and difficulty in moving the neck is usually present when trying to move the neck after being long in the same position.
Pain: can be localized to one spot or may be diffused over an area, usually lower part of the neck. Can be described as dull aching or can also be sharp or stabbing in extreme cases
Radiating pain: there can often be radiation of pain into the shoulders and arms.
Muscular weakness: shoulders muscles namely, trapezius, rhomboids and shoulder external rotators are often weak
Headache: sub-occipital muscle tightness can lead to tension type headaches. 

How common is Text Neck

70-80% of the population between the ages 18 and 44 use their cell phones almost all the time of the day.  This age group is either from educational background or office going crowd young and productive waterface. The Proportion of people complaining of Text Neck is as high as 40% of users of modern gadgets. Most ignore the problems until it require medical attention and the pain becomes unbearable.
How is text neck treated

Here are the tips shared to treat the Text Neck:

Take frequent breaks from cell phones and Laptop. One should set alarm to get up and take a walk after every 30 mins.
Should hold phone at eye level and same goes with other devices. One should position laptop/desktop at eye level which will avoid one to bend your head down.
If you work in an office, make sure your screen is set up so that when you look at it you are looking forward, with your head positioned squarely in line with your shoulders and spine.
Stand up straight
Arch and Stretch