More People Suffering From 'Text Neck'
October 7, 2011

More People Suffering From ‘Text Neck’

Experts warn that mobile phone users may eventually find themselves succumbing to "text neck."

Experts are saying that cases of strain to a neck by the increased use of smartphones and tablet computers could cause muscles to eventually adapt to fit the flexed position, making it painful to straighten up the neck properly.

Rachael Lancaster, a chiropractor at Freedom Back Clinics in Leeds, told the Telegraph: "Text neck is caused by the neck being flexed for a prolonged period of time.  Sufferers are increasing as the use of smart phones and tablet computers become more popular."

She said the condition occurs when joints and tissue in the neck are not built to withstand being flexed for long periods.

"Imagine sitting on your ankle sideways for 10 minutes. It would feel stiff and sore when you returned it to its natural position," Lancaster said. "That is exactly what people are doing with their necks. If people continue to put their necks in these positions, the body will gradually adapt to the stresses."

The condition can be avoided if users regularly take screen breaks, looking straight ahead while tucking the chin back towards the neck every few minutes.

Users can also help maintain a healthy posture by rotating the shoulders with their arms by their sides, sitting up straight while texting and holding the phone a little higher. 

Tim Hutchful, of the British Chiropractic Association, said doctors are seeing a rising number of "text neck" cases.  He also said that getting regular exercise would help ward of symptoms.

He said children are most at risk because their heads are larger in relation to their body size than adults.

"When the head is over the shoulders it is a bit like a balanced see-saw, and when you move it forward you need to put a force in place to keep it in that position," Hutchful said in a statement. "The longer you are in that position for, the more the muscles have to accommodate it."


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