A Pain in the Neck

by BTM

Mon, 31 July 2017

A Pain in the Neck

Orthopaedic surgery specialist Dr Sanjay Kumar on the scourge of a very modern ailment.

Text neck is the term used to describe the neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at your mobile, tablet or other wireless devices too frequently and for too long.

A recent study found 79 per cent of 18-44 year olds carry their cell phone at all times, with only two hours off during the day. And research among workers revealed that neck flexion greater than 20 per cent for more than 40 per cent of the day was a risk factor for sick leave due to neck pain.

The posture of persistent bending
during texting causes a static muscular loading of the neck and shoulder muscles followed by soreness and pain. It is especially concerning because young, growing children could possibly permanently damage their cervical spines.

While text neck most commonly causes neck discomfort and soreness, it can also lead to upper back issues ranging from chronic, nagging pain to sharp, severe upper back muscle spasms, shoulder pain and spasms. Some studies indicate it may also lead to the early onset of spondylosis.


• Hold your mobile or other screened device at eye level.

• Take frequent breaks from your device throughout the day.

• Ensure screens are set up so you are looking forward and avoid looking down with your head bent for extended periods.



• Specific exercises to build strong core muscles – abdominal and lower back.

• Strengthening exercises to build flexible muscles around the neck to minimise strain on the cervical spine and help support the weight of head.

Those who do not respond with rehabilitation may require treatments such as manipulation techniques, massage therapy, physiotherapy and, occasionally, medication.

 Call 17 812-000
or email [email protected].

Bahrain Specialist Hospital