How many hours a day do you spend on a computer or wireless device?  Be honest! Do you ever have unexplained neck or shoulder pain? If so, you could be suffering from Text Neck!

Text Neck is a newly coined term for a uniquely modern problem that refers to neck and shoulder pain, repeated stress injury, and severe damage to the spine from using phones, iPads, laptops, or any wireless device with poor posture.

With proper posture, we have about 10-12 lbs. of force on our cervical spines.  Every degree we tilt our heads forward to get closer to our screens, we add more force and unnecessary (and unnatural) pressure to our spines.  As most adults these days spend most of their time with some kind of wireless device in hand or working on laptops or desktop computers, Text Neck is becoming increasingly common.

Take a look at this (embarrassing) picture of Julie, APH patient and content creator, that Dr. Todd secretly snapped while she was researching content about (guess what!) proper posture and spine care.  *facepalm*

Not only is this an incredibly unflattering posture, but she's also close to the 60 degree downward angle, putting up to 60 pounds of extra pressure on her cervical spine!

Luckily, with awareness and proper posture, you can keep yourself out of this new epidemic.  A few things you can do to keep your head on straight:

  1. Bring your wireless device to you instead of bringing yourself to your wireless device.  Hold it as close to eye level as possible at all times to avoid that downward tilt.
  2. Put your wireless device away completely.  Obviously this is a lofty goal but try to at least take breaks.  Set timers to remind yourself to go device-free for periods of time.  This is good for sanity and preserving actual human relations as well as Text Neck prevention :)
  3. Make sure your work set-up is ergonomically friendly.  There are a lot of opinions about how to do this, but for Text Neck purposes make sure your chair (or desk if you have a standing workstation) is at a comfortable height so the monitor is at eye level.
  4. If you're already suffering from Text Neck, make an appointment at APH for an individualized treatment plan.


For Julie, all it took was one look at that embarrassing candid picture compared to this much more flattering picture to take a more mindful approach toward her wireless device posture.

#DrToddSays: Keep your head on straight!

( #JulieSays: Be mindful of your posture to take more flattering photos! )