“Text neck” is a condition of neck and shoulder pain due to the hunched, head-down posture of texting for prolonged periods. It has been reported that people spend on average 2-4 hours each day with their neck in this unnatural position. Humans are meant to function in an upright position. Good posture means that the ears are aligned with the shoulders and shoulder blades are held back. In ideal alignment, the human adult head weighs 10-15 lbs. With forward head posture, gravity causes the head to become heavier. A study by Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, found that bending the head to a 60 degree angle is 60 lbs worth of pressure on the cervical spine. This is greater than the weight of an average 7 year old! Loss of the natural curve of you neck leads to early wear and tear, degeneration and possibly surgery down the road. The good news is that with treatment and exercise, the damage can be halted and your posture can be improved. The best advice is to limit time on your handheld devices, and try to bring them up to eye level…or meet your friends for coffee instead of texting!
Registered Physiotherapist - M.Sc.(PT), B.Kin., FCAMPT, AFCI, MCPA and STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor