Is Your Cell Phone Causing Occipital Neuralgia? The Answer May Surprise You

Technology is hurting us. That’s the claim made many times over the years. Smart phones may not have as many risks as some fear, but they can be a significant cause of occipital neuralgia. Keep reading, or follow the original story here to find out more.

The simplest, and least threatening forms of strain due to cell phone use are referred to as text neck. Headache, sensitive scalp, and pain behind the eyes. These are all symptoms that could stem from prolonged use of a smart phone.

The cause is simple. The human neck is not designed in such a way to support the weight of the head, constantly craned over.

The posture one uses when working over a laptop, or cell phone for extended periods applies increased, and unusual stress on the muscle of the neck. This leads to large amounts of pressure applied to the neck. In turn this causes pain, and headaches. Problems don’t always stop there. In severe cases, occipital neuralgia can develop from the same causes.

Frequently confused with migraine or headache, occipital neuralgia has many of the same symptoms as the less dramatic text neck. Instead of muscle strain, occipital Neuralgia is caused by an inflammation or trauma to the occipital nerves that run from the peak of the spinal cord all the way through the scalp. To learn more about occipital neuralgia, click here.

Pain from occipital neuralgia is often described as burning. It typically begins at the base of the head or neck, and radiates throughout the scalp.  Pain usually begins at the back of the head, the occipital region for which the condition is named, and spread from there.

One sufferer of occipital neuralgia stated that if a bad hangover could be described as splitting pain, occipital neuralgia is searing. Like being hit over the head with a hot steel rod.

Smart phones are certainly not the only cause of occipital neuralgia. They are, however, an increasing, and concerning risk in modern society. More specifically, the way we use phones and other devices is becoming leading cause of strain, pain, and trauma.

Lola Philips, a registered osteopath, suggests that people who insist on using their phones for extended hours adopt more supportive postures. Siting upright, or lifting the phone to your eyes rather than lowering your head to the phone can help alleviate strain. Other recommendations include using a stand for your device. Anything to keep your back and neck straight can be helpful in preventing symptoms from developing.

Use of correct posture, massage, or anti-inflammatory medication can provide simple treatment in a majority of cases. In more extreme cases, steroid injections, or muscle relaxants may be necessary to help correct the inflamed nerves.

Experts say that if you’re feeling pain now, it may already be too late. Occipital neuralgia is fortunately not fatal. Even if it can be extremely uncomfortable, the symptoms are treatable, and preventable.

Considering how many of us use laptops, smart phones, and tablets as much as we do today, it is important to remember proper posture, and to allow your body a break from strain.

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