When Texting Is a Headache
While walking through any public area you are almost guaranteed to see someone with his or her head down and shoulders slumped, sending a text, emailing or checking the Internet. Unfortunately, the use of smart phones and other mobile devices is causing a new health problem: headaches caused by poor posture – head flexed, shoulders curved and back hunched. Being in this position for a prolonged period of time can lead to neck pain and headaches, which some are calling iPad pain or text neck.
How Do These Headaches Arise?
Poor posture places an increased strain on the muscles, ligaments, discs and joints of your neck, leading to cervicogenic headaches. The strain causes inflammation that can irritate the nerves in your neck and head, which causes neck pain and headaches. Other symptoms that can arise from this condition include eye pain, dizziness, runny nose and pain in the teeth/gums.
How Do I Prevent This Head and Neck Pain from Occurring?
Here are a few tips for preventing “text neck” symptoms:
- Change the reading angle of your device to eye level to prevent looking down and placing stress on your neck. Use tables, pillows and trays to prop up your arms to allow you to maintain this posture longer.
- Take breaks if you are using technology for longer than 20 minutes to give your neck muscles a rest.
- Sit with your shoulders back and head over your shoulders while using any device.
- If you’re a frequent technology user, perform exercises and stretches to keep your neck muscles from becoming tight.
How Can Good Shepherd’s Headache Program Help?
If headaches persist, help is available. Good Shepherd’s Headache Program consists of specially trained physical therapists who are skilled at assessing people with headaches and neck pain. During the initial evaluation, the therapist performs a thorough examination and history to develop an individualized treatment plan. Based on the examination, you will be given exercises to help reduce your pain and learn strategies to keep your headaches away. Treatments typically include manual therapy techniques, exercises and patient education, but treatment plans are ultimately determined by your therapist based on your needs.
For more information or to schedule an evaluation for headache therapy, contact us or call 610-419-2130.