Text neck? Yes, that is not a typo. Text neck is a real condition and it can affect everyone with a mobile device or that sits at a computer for long periods of time.
“Text neck is a modern age term coined by US chiropractor Dr. DL Fishman to describe repeated stress injury and pain in the neck resulting from excessive watching or texting on handheld devices over a sustained period of time. It is also known as Turtle Neck posture or anterior head syndrome.” 
Text neck has become a concern across the globe as the number of mobile devices surpasses 4 billion! Did you know that more than 75% of people in the US own a mobile device? Or that 95% of people between 18 and 29 years of age use a mobile device daily? So it wouldn’t surprise you to know that 65%+ of people experience text neck syndrome. This is no longer isolated to people sitting at a desk for their jobs all day. Because of the expanded use of mobile devices and gaming it can affect almost everyone.
Why does text neck develop? It develops after repetitive changes in posture (usually while using a mobile device or sitting at a computer) that puts stress and strain on the neck and back. This prolonged posture puts stress and shifts our normal spine curvature. In addition to the neck and back being affected supporting tendons, muscles, bones, joints and ligaments are strained. Over time this stress can lead to spinal malalignment, disc compression, arthritis and permanent nerve damage. The pain is felt from the wrist to the neck and everywhere in between.
Ever felt that tingly numbness in that area after a long session on your device? Or experienced a headache that lasts long after you put your phone down? Well now you know what that is – it is damage to your body and the pain is telling you to change your habits.
So how can you avoid text neck altogether? Understanding the source of the pain, tingling and numbness is the first step. If you start to feel these stop right away and implement these simple strategies.
- Make sure your mobile device or computer screen is at eye level
- When seated roll your shoulders back and keep your head up – over your shoulders squarely
- If you need to use pillows to support your arms so you can maintain this position do so
- If you are working or gaming at a desk for long periods of time consider an ergonomically friendly standing desk that puts your eyes and arms in a more ideal position (they are healthier anyway!)
- Go easy on the time – take breaks often and walk around
- Stretch! Before, during and after prolonged sessions with your mobile device or computer
If you have experienced text neck and the symptoms don’t go away with these tactics give us a call or send us an email. The team at Orthopedic Associates of Denver can help you get back to living life more fully (without text neck!).