Text Neck – Yes, it’s a Thing!

Smartphones help us in many ways, but they can be bad for your neck. An informal term for a relatively recent phenomenon in physical therapy is “text neck”. This refers to the neck and upper back pain, headaches, and even arm and hand symptoms that can be caused by excessive texting.

The human head weighs about twelve pounds. But when you bend your neck downward while texting, the weight and stress on the neck increases – a lot more than you’d imagine. For example, at a 45-degree angle, the force on your neck can approach 50 lbs! And if you’re texting as much as some of our patients do, that’s a lot of force for a long time.

Don’t worry – we won’t suggest that you stop texting – looking down at your phone is only half the problem. A sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, static positions, and muscle imbalances – these can all contribute to the syndrome. Learning exercises to strengthen certain muscles and counteract the texting position can significantly help. Physical therapists are movement specialists! If you’re having trouble with “text neck” or anything else, give us a call – we can help.