Do you check your phone often? Notice the burn in your neck or arm? Last year, I had a patient who had numbness down his left arm when he looked down at his phone or screen. Was this "text neck", the phenomenon of neck pain caused by frequent checking and texting from a mobile phone? Perhaps...it clearly was cervical radiculopathy, or a compressed/irritated nerve root in the neck. Fortunately my keen PT skills and few steroids later helped to get this patient back to work and pain-free neck movements. But it left me wondering -- did the phone lead to his issue?
A recent study done in Brazil puts into question whether "text neck" even exists. They took pictures of these kids as they looked at their phones, had experts analyze the pictures, and then cross-referenced the postures in the pictures with reported neck pain. This study did not show an association between text neck and neck pain in 18–21-year-old young adults. The findings challenge the belief that neck posture during mobile phone texting is associated to the growing prevalence of neck pain.
Obviously more goes into neck pain than simply posture: exercise status, nutritional care, psyche, medications, and more. Check out the article, pay attention to your posture (maybe), and contact us to learn more!