Text Neck

Can Texting Affect Your Health?

Text messaging is a quick way to communicate, but it can also be a real pain in the neck.

Tightness across the shoulders, headaches, and neck soreness are common symptoms that can result from frequent texting.

Why does this happen? Weighing anywhere from 10-14 lbs, your head resembles a bowling ball. It’s designed to be held in balance, and should sit squarely over your shoulders. Routine habits and behaviors such as looking downward to send/read text messages puts an unhappy demand on the muscles, joints, and ligaments of the neck.

This position shifts the head forward and away from the sturdy support of your shoulders. The forces of gravity then require spinal tissues to adapt and compensate for the new mechanical demand. This scenario leads to a condition called Forward Head Posture (FHP).

With the growing popularity of smart phones, texting isn’t the only activity that can cause pain and discomfort. In-phone apps enable users to spend even more time in this position.

Prolonged displacement of the head applies abnormal forces to the entire spine, and compounds the damage to your cervical vertebrae. If left uncorrected, it will lead to a loss of cervical curve and irreversible arthritic degeneration.

Translation? You’ll feel a lot older than you are, become limited in doing the things you love to do, and may develop an uncomfortable dependency on pain relieving drugs.

It’s tempting to believe that if the pain isn’t “that bad” yet, there must be nothing to worry about… but a Cedars-Sinai orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jason Cuellar, wonders if children today may require spinal surgery before the age of 30 due to this modern day problem.

Bottom line, the sooner you fix the problem, the easier/cheaper/faster it is to address. When detected early enough, patients can correct the problem and prevent significant damage from occurring down the road.

If you’re suffering from texting-related aches and pains, now is the best time to schedule a chiropractic check up.

KSDK News Channel 5 interview