A recent study sponsored by Facebook shows that 79% of the population between the ages of 18 and 44 have their cell phones with them almost all the time—with only 2 hours of their waking day spent without their phone on hand. With over a billion people using smartphones, “text neck” is a 21st century term and a new phenomenon that is becoming a common household name.1 We need to be aware of text neck as a potential threat to our health.
“Text neck” is used to describe neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or other wireless devices too frequently and for too long. Children and teens are especially at risk for suffering symptoms of text neck.2 It seems the same technology that is positively shaping the world today has added the potential consequences of re-shaping our necks away from the spine’s natural design and alignment. Our spine is the foundation of every movement our body makes. It not only gives us shape, strength and motion, but also protects our nervous system, which coordinates every process within our body, from our heart beating to our lungs breathing, and even hormone release and utilization. Normally, the healthy forward curve of the neck acts as a “spring” protecting the integrity of the intervertebral discs which influences nerve spacing, function, and longevity. Without the defense system of the spinal curves, the joints are left weakened and exposed to the overloading effects of stress and gravity. Over time, text neck may lead to poor posture. According to the research, poor posture may lead to tight and weakened muscles, extra wear and tear, inhibited organ function, tension headaches, neck pain, and altered emotional states.