Are your mobile phone tablet or computer giving you pain in your neck? This isn’t because it’s not functioning correctly, but rather physical discomfort when you look at it. If this is the case, you’re probably experiencing a condition referred to as “text neck syndrome” or “tech neck.”
“Looking at our tablets, phones or computers for prolonged periods could cause soreness and pain in our necks shoulders, necks as well as our back,” said Mac Weninger, MD, a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist for ThedaCare Orthopedic Health Care. “It’s something that everyone who uses mobile devices might encounter.”
“Tech neck” can lead to inflammation of the neck, stiffness muscles, neck spasms and discomfort within neck, back as well as shoulders and headaches. If left untreated – or in the event that one’s behaviour isn’t changed the neck can be worn down by the cervical discs spine that can cause discs that are bulging or ruptured, which can result in pain, numbness, and weakening.
“Tech neck” may appear to be something that’s harmless however it could have grave long-term effects, particularly for young people today that are among the first generations to grow into the age of handheld devices.” Dr. Weninger noted.
The National Institutes of Health (NHI) refers to tech neck as “an new 21 21st-century disorder that can cause cervical degeneration. NHI also reported that 75 percent of the population sits in front of their mobile devices for several hours every day, with their head flexed to the side. The estimates suggest that Americans generally spend between five and seven hours a day using smartphones, and the usage is expected to rise.
Doctor. Weninger said the human head weighs anywhere from 10 to 12 pounds when it is placed over the neck.
“Tilting our heads to the side to look at our phones to send a textmessage, or browse social media websites could put between 30 to 70 pounds of pressure onto our necks based of the direction at which our head is placed,” he explained. “That’s increasing the amount of physical stress on the spine and neck, shoulders as well as all the muscles in the upper part of our torso.”
The most frequent symptoms of neck pain are:
- The neck is strained and tension can be felt in the upper back muscles
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) issues
- The hands are weak or numb. hands
- Tendinitis of the rotator cuff
Dr. Weninger favors finding the reason for any new pain or ache and changing the contributing behavior instead of just treating the symptoms. Dr. Weninger offers the following suggestions to decrease the risk of developing neck techie:
- Make sure your device is to your eye as far as is possible.
- Pause regularly during prolonged time spent on tablets, phones or gaming consoles, and computer. Make sure you arch your back and roll your shoulders and stretch your shoulders to loosen muscle tension in the neck.
- Limit screen time in non-school or work time.
- Make use of a standing desk whenever possible.
- Be conscious of your position and rectify bad habits. You should sit with your feet lying flat on the ground and your back is leaning slightly backwards.
- Sit up during your work or study at least every hour.
- Try a few yoga postures regularly , e.g. downward cobra, cat/dog child’s posture, and the seated twist pose can relieve muscle tension on the top of your the torso.
- The minimum of 150 minutes moderate aerobic activity per week.
- Do resistance training and strengthen of your rotator cuff muscles to strengthen the shoulder joint.
“Most of the tasks we perform with our arms is done in the front of our bodies, including the lifting of, carrying and and reaching,” he said. “It is crucial to build muscle groups in our upper back. This can help maintain the balance between forces pulling the shoulder forward as well as backwards.”
If shoulder and neck discomfort persists, despite ergonomic modifications , stretching and strengthening exercises The doctor. Weninger recommends seeing a doctor at ThedaCare Medical Center for Orthopedics, Spine and Pain.
“We begin with conservative treatments like physical therapy and medication to ease the pain,” he said. “Then we consider other options, like injections. In extreme cases surgical intervention may be required. Your healthcare team will review possible options with you to help meet your health care needs.”
Its Orthopedic walk-in Clinic is open Monday through Friday between 7:15 a.m. until 7:15 p.m. as well on Sundays and Saturdays between 8:15 a.m. until 12:01 p.m. located at 2400 East Capital Drive, Appleton. Although appointments aren’t necessary patients are able to click the “I’m heading to the clinic” button to notify care staff know that they’re going to be there. Find more information at thedacare.org/orthopedics.
“Our mobile devices increase our capacity to stay informed, educated , and entertained, which improves our lives,” said Weninger. “As as with all equipment there is a right way to utilize these devices. Making good habits about the way we use our devices as well as the amount of time we use them can go a long the way of making sure that we’re taking advantage of their advantages.”
More About ThedaCare
Over the past 110 years, ThedaCare(r) has been dedicated to improving overall health and well-being of communities they serve within Northeast as well as Central Wisconsin. The company provides care to more than 600,000 people in 17 counties . They employ around 7,000 health experts. ThedaCare offers 180 points of service, which includes eight hospitals. As an organization that is committed to being an innovator on Population Health, team members are committed to empowering individuals to live their individual and most fulfilling lives. ThedaCare works with communities to better understand their issues, and find solutions and raising awareness and taking action. ThedaCare is the only one in Wisconsin to become an Mayo Clinic Care Network Member that allows doctors to talk to Mayo Clinic experts about a patient’s treatment. ThedaCare is pleased to work together with Children’s Wisconsin and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network to provide easy access to the highest specializations. ThedaCare is a non-profit health care system that has an advanced trauma center, a comprehensive cancer treatment as well as cardiac and stroke programs, in addition to primary treatment.
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