Texting Really Can Be a Pain in the Neck!

Who would have ever imagined that a significant overuse injury could come from something that is actually smaller than your hand and only requires your thumb to control? Did you know, in 2016, there were more than 2.1 billion smartphone users living in the United States? By the year 2019 arrives, the number of smartphone users is estimated to grow to approximately 2.5 billion. That is a lot of technology devices in the hands of Americans!

In fact, a recent study suggested that people living in the United States spent around five hours a day on their mobile device. And, with texting being one of the main uses of smartphones, no wonder more people are experiencing neck pain on a more frequent basis.

Lemak Health understands what an asset your smartphone can be in your daily life. However, our knowledgeable orthopedic team also wants you to be aware of the signs associated with a case of “Tech Neck.”


What Is Tech Neck?

“Tech Neck” is defined as the condition in which neck pain and damage is caused from looking down at your smartphone, laptop, tablet, or any other electronic device for too long a period. While anyone can experience tech neck, teens are the most commonly diagnosed age group.

In addition to feeling pain in your neck, back, arm, hands, wrists, shoulders, and elbows, symptoms of tech neck include:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Numbness and tingling in upper extremities
  • Poor posture
  • Soreness in neck
  • Tightness or stiffness across shoulders


Fortunately, you can act to prevent the symptoms of tech neck before it affects your quality of life. If you are currently seeking a medical evaluation or solution to neck pain, one of Lemak Health’s orthopedic specialists can help.


Think Before You Text


   Tech neck doesn’t have to be an issue in your daily life if you follow a few guidelines for everyday technology use. 

For starters, make sure you are holding your smartphone or other technological devices in a better position. By making sure the device screen is eye level, you can prevent having to lean forward or have your head tilted down for a long period of time.

Second, you also want to be sure you are taking breaks from “screen time” so that you are not in front of your device for hours upon hours each day. Take a break and see what else there is to enjoy! Is it a nice day? Why not go on a nature scavenger hunt with family? But if it is raining outside, perform some indoor yoga moves or play a board game with your friends.

If you do need to be using technology for an hour or longer due to work, then try to at least change positions while emailing and/or texting so that you are able to relieve some muscle tension from your neck.

Finally, you also want to practice good posture each day. When you have good posture, you stand up straight with your shoulders pulled back. The goal is to make sure your body is always kept in an aligned and neutral position, including when sitting.


Has your neck and spine been causing more issues than usual lately? Could it be due to tech neck? Contact the professionals at Lemak Health today at 205.453.7550 for an appointment and evaluation.