Excessive texting may keep you in touch with family and friends, but it also spells trouble for your health.

‘Text Neck’ is a pandemic syndrome in people who are involved in excessive texting. Being stuck in the uncomfortable position of looking down for a long duration with a strained spine can lead to tension in the neck and shoulders, inflammation in the neck muscle and joints, and even chronic headache. This is a problem seen in the younger generation who want to be connected all the time. Without timely intervention, ‘text neck’ can lead to permanent arthritic damage as well as increased curvature in the spine and even slipped disc.

Here are some pain-relieving tips that can help alleviate this condition:

Posture correction: While texting for long periods, try to keep the neck in a neutral position where the ears are aligned with the shoulders. At least be conscious of the neck’s position and avoid maintaining the awkward position for a long time.

Neck extension: Perform neck extension exercises (raising the chin until a stretch is felt on the neck), neck side flexion (bringing the side of the head alternatively towards the left and the right until a stretch is felt) and neck rotation. Done on a regular basis, this helps strengthen the muscles and keeps the pain in check.

Take a break: Frequent breaks between messaging helps give the body much needed relaxation.

Heat therapy: Treat your aching neck to hot water fomentation to increase blood circulation and help the muscles relax. Add one teaspoon Epsom salt to hot water, soak a towel and squeeze out excess water. Place the towel on affected area. Repeat five times.

Rest: Stop doing what makes your neck hurt. Put a halt to your daily routine of texting. It won’t do any harm. This important pause will allow the neck to start healing.