“Text Neck”

The incidence of neck and shoulder pain and vertebral disc degeneration has been on the rise since the penetration of smartphone usage. At a good posture when looking at someone from the side the back of the neck should have a natural C-curve. With a ‘text neck’ this curve is diminished or lost, causing many symptoms including neck and shoulder pain, headaches, mood disorders, and premature disc degeneration that can lead to arthritis, bone remodeling and a hunched back.

With good posture the head’s weight (approx 10-12 pounds) is distributed over the shoulders. With the head forward posture associated with texting the head can flex forward to 60 degrees, making the weight of the head up to 60 pounds!! That puts significant strain on the neck and shoulder girdles.

Limiting screen use or holding your smartphone / device at eye level will help tomitigate extra tension on the cervical spine and associated structures. Other ways to prevent ‘text neck’ are to practice good posture, vary postures and take frequent breaks, use hands free /Siri, and strengthen the posterior neck muscles.

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