What exactly is your phone doing to your Neck?

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Now, I know our phones aren’t the only culprit causing our neck pain, but it is definitely common and something we can ALL relate to!


Text Neck is a term that describes neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at a cell phone, tablet, or other electronic devices for too long.


Did you know that the weight of your head is the key factor to neck pain?

On average, our heads weigh 10 to 12 pounds. When texting and looking at our phones, we often bend our heads forward to look down. Depending on the angle, that once 10lb head of yours, can weigh up to 60lbs! Our necks, spine and the muscles, tendons and ligaments attached, are not designed to sustain that amount of pressure for extended periods of time. Like many of us, my phone isn’t just for play... it’s work! The hours spent on my phone, can’t always be avoided.


Progression of Neck pain

Typically starts with a relatively mild ache in the neck and upper back. Could also show up as stiffness or sharp pain. If not addressed, forward head posture and hunched shoulders could worsen causing reduced mobility and degenerative conditions in the cervical spine.

Addressing Text Neck

  • Bring your phone to eye level when possible

  • Find tasks that can be allocated to a computer (use proper desk posture)

Proper desk posture https://backintelligence.com/proper-sitting-posture-at-a-desk/

  • Stretches that target neck, chest and upper back

  • Exercises to strengthen neck and surrounding muscles

8 Strengthening Exercises for Neck, Back and Shoulders

https://youtu.be/8NSOwYfrZIo

Favorite Stretches for Neck Pain


SCM Stretch

Targeted muscle: Sternocleidomastoid (SCM)




How to do it:

– Begin in a standing position with your neck retracted. – Tilt your head to the right and rotate your chin upwards to the left until you feel a slight stretch on the left side of your neck. – Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds. – Repeat on the other side. – Aim for 3 repetitions of this stretch.



Neck Flexion

Targeted muscle: Neck extensor group (splenius capitis, semispinalis capitis, suboccipitals and trapezius).



How to do it:

– Begin in a seated position, looking straight ahead. – Retract your neck and hold your chin back with one hand, and reach your other hand over the top of your head. – Stabilize your chin as you gently pull your head forward until you feel a slight stretch in the back of your neck. – Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds. – Aim for 3 repetitions of this stretch.



Seated Levator Scapulae Stretch

Targeted muscle: Levator scapulae.





How to do it:

– Begin in a seated position and grasp the bottom of your chair with your right hand. – Bring your chin in towards your chest and rotate your head towards the left shoulder. – Then using your left arm gently push your head down looking towards your left armpit until you feel a slightly stretch along with right side of your neck. – Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds. – Repeat on the opposite side. – Aim for 3 repetitions of this stretch on each side.




Middle Scalene Stretch

Targeted muscle: Middle Scalene





How to do it:

– Begin in either a sitting or standing position and gently tilt your head to the left – Grasp over the top of your head with your left hand to apply a mild force towards the left. – Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds. – Repeat on the opposite side. – Aim for 3 repetitions of this stretch on each side.



For Educational and Informational Purposes Only

The information and resources available through this website are for educational and informational purposes only. ​Information should not replace medical advice from a professional who is familiar with your situation.

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