Text Neck

What is Text Neck?

November 23, 2018
by Ortho Spine America | Medical
Worsened Neck Pain

There’s a new body ailment plaguing our communities.  It affects old and young alike, and it touches the lives of every person who uses a handheld device.  It’s called text neck, or as we like to call it, “the 40-pound head.” 


I’m sure, by now, you’re familiar with the stiffness and cramping pain that comes after looking down at your phone for too long or sitting with poor posture at your desk for more than an hour.  We’ve all experienced text neck pain at some point, and we’re all at risk of having further problems if we don’t be more proactive in prevention measures. 


Over time, looking down at your wireless device for long periods of time can lead to permanent damage to the cervical neck and spine.  This is especially true for children whose bones and muscular structures are still developing.  Some long-term problems that are associated with text neck include:

  • Spinal misalignment
  • Spinal degeneration
  • Disc herniation
  • Nerve or muscle damage
  • Early arthritis
  • Disc compression


And, if you already have one of these conditions, they can become worse and much harder to treat if you’re not taking measures to prevent text neck.  In this article, we review some tips for prevention.  Mainly, if you can’t keep your device at eye level while you’re sitting or standing up straight, then you’ll want to remind yourself to look up and move your neck around every 10-15 minutes.  It can be hard to spontaneously remember to remind yourself of something, so maybe set a reminder on your device to look up and stretch.  These preventative health measures are totally under your control. You just need to find a method that works for you.  Next week, we’ll cover further tips on preventing and reversing text neck. 


Physical therapy is an excellent option if the pain gets too severe.  At OSA, we have an expert team of therapists who believe in the body’s ability to self-correct and heal.  Their knowledge and know-how can help you get on track with a regimen that will combat the effects of the “40-pound head.” 


Any kind of neck pain can be dangerous for your long-term health, so the best thing you can do for your body is take the time to research and learn ways to help yourself, and learn when it’s time to seek medical attention. 

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