Text neck… Yes it is a thing!

We have all heard the stories about neck issues that result from the overuse of modern technology such as the smart phones, tablets and iPads. But are these injuries real or just the imagining of overzealous but caring parents and loved ones?

Well the short answer is YES, they do exist and they are becoming more commonplace amongst all age groups but in particular teenagers and younger children.


Text neck is a term which is used to describe neck injuries that result from sustained, prolonged and repeated forward posture of the head associated with the use of smartphones, tablets and iPads. Essentially it is an overuse injury of the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the neck that are placed under increased load when the head is bent forward for long periods. Many people do not realise that the load placed on the muscles of the neck and shoulders increases by a factor of 6 when the head is held in a forward position. When you consider the average adult head weighs around 4.5 to 5 kgs this means the load placed on the supporting neck structures increases to an unbelievable 30kgs when a person uses their smartphone, tablet or I-pad.

What are the symptoms of text neck?

The most common symptom of text neck is, not surprisingly, neck pain and stiffness. This can vary from a constant ache and stiffness to an intermittent sharp pain or a sensation of burning. Other signs and symptoms include shoulder pain and stiffness, headaches and pain or pins and needles/ numbness in the arms and hands.


There are quite a few things that you can change immediately that will help prevent or at least minimize the symptoms associated with text neck

Take frequent breaks. As with workstations, one should take a break from their electronic devises every 20 to 30 minutes. This may be as simple as getting a glass of water or taking a toilet break. The important thing is to break the forward head posture and adopt a more neutral position for a few minutes to give the muscles in your neck and shoulders a break

Change the position of the phone. In other words, instead of having your phone in your lap bring it up to be level with your eyes when your head is in a neutral position.

Stretch. Your muscles will be tight and fatigued after you have been in a sustained forward head posture. Relive this tension by performing some neck and shoulder stretches.

Posture. Adopt the correct posture. Instead of sitting or standing in a slouched position, stand up straight and in doing so reducing the load on your neck by bringing your head in line with your spine.

What will the Chiropractors at Walkley Chiropractic Group do to help my text neck?

The Chiropractors at Walkley Chiropractic Group will initially conduct a thorough examination of your neck and shoulder region. Only once the extent and true nature of the injury has been evaluated will treatment begin. Therapy normally consists of a combination of joint mobilization techniques, to restore normal joint movement with the spine, as well as extensive soft tissue therapies to address any muscle, tension or ligament damage. Generally targeted stretches and exercises will be prescribed to help restore normal biomechanics and muscle function.

Fortunately when used In combination with lifestyle advice and changes, text neck is a condition that responds extremely well to the physical therapies performed by the chiropractors at Walkley Chiropractic Group.