iNeck Pain – This Could Be The Cause of It
Caption: Neck pain continues to be a growing health concern worldwide. Dr Tan Kian Hian, Senior Consultant, Department of Anaesthesiology and Director of the Pain Management Centre, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), shares the reason behind this. (iStock photo)

"Virtually everyone is spending more and more time on their handheld devices like smartphones, tablets and e-readers these days. This has given rise to the condition called 'text neck', which refers to overuse syndrome or a repetitive stress injury, where you have your head hung forward and down looking at your mobile electronic device for extended periods of time," says Dr Tan Kian Hian, Senior Consultant at the Department of Anaesthesiology and Director of the Pain Management Centre, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group.

Symptoms of 'text neck'

When users are stuck in the unnatural posture of looking down for a prolonged period of time, it can lead to:

  • Tightness across the shoulders
  • Soreness in the neck, and even
  • Chronic headaches.

Related article: Most common causes of neck and back pain in Singapore

This is because the more you crane your neck, the more weight it has to carry. "When you lean your head forward away from its neutral position – when the ears and shoulders are aligned – by an inch, the weight of your head dramatically increases," Dr Tan explains.

If left untreated, a 'text neck' can lead to:

  • Inflammation of the neck muscles, ligaments and nerves
  • Permanent arthritic damage
  • Increased curvature in the spine

Related article: 40% of Singapore adults have joint pain. Here's how to prevent it

Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to alleviate your neck pain and discomfort before the condition worsens. Dr Tan shares this in the related article below, and offers suggestions on next steps to take if the pain becomes too severe. Read on to find out!

Related article: Tips to prevent 'text neck' pain and treatment options


Articles on are meant for informational purposes only and cannot replace professional surgical, medical or health advice, examination, diagnosis or treatment.