Text Neck? Do You Have It?

About the Author: Harminder


Umm… text neck? What is it? No points for guessing!


Coined by US chiropractor, Dr. DL Fishman, text neck is a condition that arises due to repeated pain and injury in the neck resulting from excessive texting on handheld devices over a long period of time.


This condition is also known as anterior head syndrome or turtle neck posture.


So do you have it? We will find out all the answers and more here in this article.


But before we delve deeper, here is a simple question – how many hours per day do you hunch over your smartphone?


If your answer is somewhat close to two hours – you are like most of us.


Bending your head to operate smartphone can increase the weight of your head by up to 27 kg (whooping!), and harm your posture. What’s worse, when you text while walking, you expose yourself to a range of accidents.



What Do the Stats Say?


As mobile adoption is on a steady rise, so is the text neck syndrome.


The number of mobile users around the world is expected to cross 5 billion this year.


According to GSMA, almost two-thirds of the world’s population owns a mobile phone and this figure is expected to touch 75% by 2020.


While increasing mobile penetration is not a bad thing in itself, what is worrisome is the unbalanced posture.


We all love texting.


An average American spends somewhere between 250 and 2,000 texts per month. Even if it is not texting, we all tend to look down at our phone for a range of reasons – online banking, reading eBooks, applying for jobs, booking tickets, and performing other related tasks.


The result? All this takes a toll on our neck.


Typically, people crane their neck forward at an angle of 45 degrees while sending texts. This places an increased weight on the spine, almost five times the pressure considered normal, thus leading to “text neck”.


Okay, So What Happens Next?


Are you guilty of walking with your head down to look at a message (we don’t judge: we have been there plenty)?


Well, whenever you type a text message, your peripheral vision starts at 60 degrees but declines to between one and 10 degrees as you get indulged.


This also stresses your cervical spine, leading to chronic headaches, promoting blurred vision, and could also lead to permanent nerve damage.


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How to Know if You Have Text Neck?


You could be having a text neck if you suffer from the following symptoms:


  • Stiff neck: soreness and difficulty in moving the neck
  • Pain: either localized or the one that radiates itself into arms and shoulders
  • Muscular weakness: weakness in shoulder muscles like trapezius, and rhomboids
  • Headache: tension and stress leading to headache


What You Can Do About Your Text Neck


When it comes to text neck, nothing helps well than prevention. Here are a few recommendations that should be kept in mind:


  • Avoid staying glued to smartphones for long time. No matter how urgent chat discussion is going on, it can wait, yes?
  • Avoid maintaining a static posture for long. Move here and there, and refresh yourself.
  • Avoid holding phablets and tablets just with one hand. It not only takes a toll on your arm but also impacts your posture.
  • Avoid prolonged swiping and typing. We agree that this one is difficult, but it deserves a try, right?
  • Position your device properly, ensuring that your head and neck are not stressed in any way.


What if I Already Have It?


If you are already suffering from text neck, you can work towards bettering your condition by:


  • Performing neck movements like side bending and rotations
  • Performing chin tuck exercises
  • Massaging
  • Using ice/heat packs


However, if the situation is pretty severe, a suitably designed neck physical therapy program could help by one of our neck pain specialists.


You can also choose to take help of a trained physical therapist who will create a customized exercise schedule for you. To learn more, you can call one of your experts today or click here to fill out a simple form.



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