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Text neck is a recently coined phrase which describes a syndrome involving one’s shoulders, head, and neck and is a likely result from strain on the neck in a downward position from looking at a device. These devices include smartphones, mp3 players, video games, and e-readers. What many do not know is that the pressure on your neck from using such devices can cause severe pain not only cause headaches and pain the neck and shoulders, but also pain in the arms and hands as well. Symptoms of text neck include:

  • Shoulder pain and tightness
  • Upper back pain
  • Dull to sharp pain in back
  • Upper back muscle spasms
  • Pain traveling down your arm and into your hand

Research also suggests that text neck can also lead early onset of arthritis in your neck.Here are some tips to help decrease the pressure on your neck and fend off text neck.

20-20-20 rule

The 20-20-20 rule helps to reduce eye strain by having an individual look ahead 20 feet (or further) for 20 seconds at a time, every 20 minutes.

Stretch

A simple yet effect way to combat text neck is to stretch your neck. You can do so by slowly turning your head toward left shoulder, holding it there for five seconds and repeating on the opposite side.

Reduce strain

You can help also reduce neck strain by pulling your electronic device closer to your eye level.

Take a break

Every so often, try putting your electronic device down and take a break to either switch positions to continue using the device or to start a different activity such as stretching or going for a walk/run.

If for some reason you are still finding it hard to put your electronics down or adjust your posture when using your electronics, there is a plethora of apps available to the public on these devices . A great example would be Simply Align. This app is available on itunes and can assist users with detecting the angle of their head and send an alert informing them that they should change their posture.