Texting Too Much Can Be a Pain in the Neck

Neck and wrist pain is becoming increasingly common with the frequent use of smartphones to communicate. In physical therapy, we are seeing more and more injuries from overuse, as they relate to texting, for two main reasons:

  1. Poor overall posturing while texting
  2. Sheer volume of texts is becoming an “overuse” injury to our postural muscles and smaller wrist/hand muscles

Here are some tips for avoiding “texting neck” and “texting wrist”:

1. Change your phone position. Instead of looking down to text (which causes excessive flexion of the neck and mid back), bring the phone up to your eyes so that your spine is neutral.

Bad Texting Form                                      Good Texting Form

2. Take breaks. Be aware how of long you are texting so that it isn’t a strain for your postural and hand muscles. Frequent breaks will help your neck and wrist muscles relax and be able to handle the stress of this activity.
3. Stretch your neck. Open up your chest muscles frequently throughout the day by squeezing your shoulder blades down and in, and sticking your chest out. This will help to counteract the forward-neck positioning of texting or computer use. Hold 5 seconds and repeat 20 times.

4. Stretch your wrists. Your wrists are typically in one position throughout the day, so you should perform these simple movements a few times throughout the day. Hold 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.







5. Talk. There is great value in verbal conversation. Instead of texting your coworker, ask if they want to go to lunch, or walk down to their office and ask in person!

Physical therapists are experts in posturing and identifying areas of muscle imbalance. If you feel that you have pain related to computer use or smartphone use, please make an appointment with us here.