What is “text neck” or “zoom neck”?

Text neck is the result of our modern lifestyle and our constant interaction with electronic devices. It can cause pain, tension, and adhesions in the soft tissues of the neck and upper back.

Understanding Text Neck

The position of the head when using these devices usually involves tilting the head forward and down, which can cause the weight of the head to shift forward and increase the load on the neck muscles. This can result in muscle fatigue, tension, and pain, especially in the neck, shoulders, and upper back.

Text neck is essentially the same pattern as forward head posture, a condition that can also be caused by poor posture habits, such as slouching or hunching over a desk. Both conditions can lead to muscle imbalances, reduced mobility, and pain in the neck and shoulders.

Text neck

The Tension Factor

When you crane your neck forward to check your messages or scroll through social media, the muscles in your neck and upper back are forced to work harder to support your head, which weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. This sustained tension can lead to muscle fatigue and discomfort.


Creating Adhesions

As you continue to engage in this posture, the soft tissues in your neck can develop adhesions or knots. These adhesions can restrict movement, cause pain, and make it harder for your muscles to function optimally.


Neck Pain and Discomfort

Text neck is notorious for causing neck pain and discomfort. You may experience a constant ache in your neck or upper back, and in more severe cases, this discomfort can extend to your shoulders and arms.

Headaches and Nerve Impingement

The strain from text neck can also lead to headaches, as the increased tension in your neck and upper spine can compress nerves and restrict blood flow to your brain. This can result in both tension headaches and migraines.

Knots around the Shoulder blades

The strain on the upper back and shoulders causes the muscles to get angry. Knots and adhesions form in the muscles of the upper back and shoulders. You may feel a knot under your shoulder blade, or between the shoulder blade and the spine.

Postural Issues

Consistently holding your head forward can alter your natural posture, causing a rounded shoulder appearance and a forward head tilt. Over time, these postural changes can become permanent and lead to more chronic issues.


Reduced Range of Motion

Text neck can diminish your neck’s range of motion, making it harder to turn your head or look up comfortably. This restriction is frustrating and distracting. It stops you from being able to focus on your work. The pain limits your ability and prevents you from doing the best job possible.

It can even make you scared to work out your arms and shoulders, with fear of the pain getting worse. Instead of strengthening the muscle and staying toned, you can feel locked in an uncomfortable position.



How can I avoid getting Text Neck?

To prevent text neck or forward head posture, it is important to maintain good posture habits while using electronic devices. This can include keeping the screen at eye level, taking frequent breaks, and practicing neck and shoulder stretches and exercises to maintain flexibility and strength. It may also be helpful to adjust the workstation setup, such as using an ergonomic chair or desk, to reduce the strain on the neck and shoulders.

How can Neu Release Massage help with Text Neck?

Neu Release™  Massage can be a helpful treatment for text neck as it focuses on releasing tight muscles and improving flexibility and mobility. This type of massage uses a combination of deep tissue massage, trigger point therapy, and stretching techniques to help alleviate tension in the neck and shoulder muscles. It is more effective than conventional massage at helping you get out of pain fast.

Neu Release™ Massage is most effective when paired with healthy self care activities. In addition to the massage itself, you can make improvements in your daily routine and posture to help prevent further tension and discomfort. This may include exercises and stretches that can be done at home. To combat text neck, you will want to strengthen the muscles of the upper back and the neck flexors, to help take the load off of overused muscles, like the upper trapezius.

By addressing the underlying muscle tension and promoting healthy habits, Neu Release™ Massage can help to reduce the symptoms of text neck and improve overall neck and shoulder health in the long term.

Maia Spertus LMT

Maia Spertus is a Licensed Massage Therapist in Austin Texas, with a background of experience in Medical Massage, Sports Recovery, Trigger Point release, as well as the traditional practices of Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage. Through her experience working with people suffering from chronic pain, active athletes, as well as desk jockeys, she is an expert in helping people feel the best in their bodies. She is also a trained yoga teacher, and avid fitness enthusiast herself.