The Effect of Tech on Your Neck: When Text Neck Becomes Too Much

Dr. Dimitrios Lambrou Aug 06, 2019

How much time do you spend on your phone? More than 30 percent of mobile internet users confess they are online "almost constantly," and 90 percent say they go online at least once a day. Statistics like these are alarming from a medical standpoint, because frequent phone use can do some serious damage to your spine. We treat a large number of patients with text neck, a condition that stems from overuse of handheld electronic devices.

Text neck affects technology users of all ages. It occurs whenText neck causes tightness in your upper body, making it difficult to drive or perform other daily activities. A Chiropractor helps restore your neck's range of motion. your neck remains in a downward position more often than it should. When you bend your head forward, it places the equivalent of approximately 60 pounds of weight on your neck. Over time, this weakens your neck muscles and can cause spinal misalignment.

This condition can also cause other unpleasant symptoms, including headaches, shoulder pain, neck pain, nerve pain and tingling sensations throughout your body. You can treat some of these symptoms at home, but we recommend seeking medical care if they do not improve quickly.

Home Remedies for Text Neck

Text neck often causes inflammation in the neck and upper shoulders which can be treated through Cryotherapy.

Cryotherapy refers to therapy performed with cold substances such as ice. If you don’t feel like running to your local drugstore, you can make your own ice pack with rubbing alcohol and water or wrap a towel around a bag of frozen peas or corn.

Be careful not to leave ice on your neck too long. Aim for intervals of 10 or 15 minutes, and try not to exceed 20 minutes. You can develop frostbite and permanently damage your body if you leave an ice pack on for longer than you should.

You can also treat text neck by reducing screen time on handheld devices. This is difficult in today's fast-paced world, so take frequent breaks or use talk-to-text features if you cannot put away your smartphone.

Chiropractic Care for Text Neck

Untreated text neck may result in spinal misalignment. We have several skilled chiropractors at each of our New Jersey locations who have experience treating text neck.

Chiropractic services vary based on your preferences and the severity of your condition. Chiropractic care may include spinal manipulation, spinal decompression therapy and laser therapy.

Physical Therapy for Text Neck

Text neck can cause tightness in your upper body, making it difficult to drive or perform other daily activities. A physical therapist helps restore your neck's range of motion by gently stretching your body. You may also use ice or heat packs during physical therapy.

Your physical therapist may recommend that you perform exercises at home in addition to your physical therapy to help enhance your recovery.

You can receive physical therapy as a standalone service or combine it with other pain management options. Many patients find they benefit from a combination of chiropractic care and physical therapy.

Laser Therapy for Text Neck

Laser therapy is a noninvasive treatment option for text neck and other conditions. We have several laser therapy options available at Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine, including cold laser therapy and MLS laser therapy.

Laser therapy works by decreasing inflammation while also improving nerve function and circulation to reduce pain. Our healthcare team will examine your spine to determine if either of these laser therapy services can help your condition.

Acupuncture Therapy for Text Neck

Healthcare professionals have used acupuncture for more than 2,000 years and this effective pain-relief option treats the symptoms of text neck. 

We recommend using acupuncture with other pain management services at Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine. Acupuncture treats the symptoms of text neck, but you may need a spinal adjustment or physical therapy to fully restore the function of your neck.

What if None of These Options Work?

Many patients experience significant improvement from our nonsurgical approach to wellness. However, some patients may still require surgery for severe text neck symptoms. If you want to avoid surgery, we'll work hard to help you manage your symptoms with noninvasive treatments.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Recovery time varies based on your symptoms, the severity of your condition and your commitment to appointments and at-home care. Text neck often requires consistent care, not sporadic treatments. However, consistent care means something different for each patient. You may need to come in a few times a week, twice a month or once every few months.

Text neck creates different problems for everyone, so we develop a custom treatment plan for each patient. Contact one of our New Jersey offices today to learn how we can help you reduce the symptoms associated with text neck. We have eight offices staffed with compassionate, knowledgeable healthcare providers ready to help you live your best life.