Gamer’s Neck

By Ehren Allen, DPT/Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist

What is Gamer’s Neck?

Gamer’s neck or texting neck is neck pain that comes from excessive poor posture from using an electronic device.  As a physical therapist, I see the increase incidence of patients with neck pain.  Some studies suggest that the average adult spends close to 4 hours a day on their mobile device.  Over your lifetime, you will spend about 9 years on a device.

Is Gamer’s Neck or Texting Neck Common?

Gamer’s Neck is becoming very common.  Holding the head and neck in a fixed position for long periods of time can lead to stiffness and pain.  But, when your head is hung forward and down to stare at a computer, tablet, or smartphone, postural changes can happen.

How Do Mobile Devices Effect Posture?

Mobile Device use effects posture is several ways.

  1. Looking down places the head and neck in a position that requires continual muscle activity to maintain.
  2. Forward head posture places abnormal forces on the structure in the neck.
  3. Remaining in the forward head position for long periods causes repetitive stress on joints, muscles, and nerve structures in the head and neck.
good and bad neck posture with mobile device

good and bad neck posture with mobile device

Gamer’s Neck is More Common During Pandemic

With so many people working remotely, time on electronics devices is up. Kids attending virtual school contributes to the issue as well.


Here are a Few Tips to Help Decrease the Stress on your Neck:

1. Straighten up: look into a mirror and make sure that your shoulders are back and the chin is slightly tucked. You should be able to draw a straight line from your ear to your shoulder.
2. Squeeze your blades: Multiple times per day, pinch your shoulder blades together for a set of 30. This endures the back muscles are activating and staying strong.
3. Look forward: raise your phone up to eye level, rather than continuously looking down. This will ultimately, decrease repetitive stress and strain on the neck.

At the end of the day, the best way to decrease your risk of “gamers neck” is to decrease your amount of screen time. Get out, be active, and enjoy real people (when it is safe to do so)!  To learn more from JOI Rehab about the proper posture while at a desk, please read this article on the proper sitting posture.

Good Neck Posture with a Mobile Device

Man using a mobile device while sitting up straight with good posture

Good Neck Posture

Bad Neck Posture with Mobile Device

man using mobile device with forward head posture. Bad neck posture

Bad Neck Posture

To learn more about neck or cervical injuries, please go to:

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