Is too Much Texting Giving You ‘Text Neck’?

Is too Much Texting Giving You ‘Text Neck’?
Published on Mashable! | shared via feedly mobile

1. Prone Neck Extension

Lay face down, arms by your side. Lock the shoulder blades back and down. Extend the head up to look at the ceiling, then lift shoulders and the chest. Hold position for 10 seconds, then lower the chest, shoulders and head — in that order. Repeat for a set of 10.

Click here to view this gallery.

Discomfort and muscle pain from texting has become so common that it now has a name: “Text Neck,” and there’s even a medical institute that specializes in treatment.

Dr. Dean Fishman adopted the phrase and changed the name and focus of his practice after seeing a huge influx of younger patients visiting his chiropractor facility — complaining of neck, back, arm and shoulder pain. He now runs the Text Neck Institute in Plantation, Fla.

“Whenever kids came to the office with pain, I noticed they were always on their phones,” Fishman told Mashable. “They would be positioned at ‘forward head posture,’ but that term wasn’t resonating with parents. After I started calling it “text neck”, we got an emotional response and decided to trademark the name to help change the way people hold their mobile devices.”

According to the Wireless Association, Americans sent 196 billion texts in June 2011, compared to 12.5 billion texts in 2006. Not only are more people communicating with others on mobile devices than ever before, smartphone adoption is giving consumers more access to media content on demand, such as using apps, games and even watching movies. This means that more people are finding themselves locked in text neck position for an extended period of time, increasing chances of pain, tendonitis and even arthritis.

The good news, however, is that the pain is treatable. In fact, the Text Neck Institute conducted a study with two groups consisting of patients ages 13 to 27 — both groups received chiropractic care, x-rays and exercises. Although both groups said they felt better after one month, one group was asked to hold their mobile devices at eye level instead and reported the most improvement.

“Some believe people need put down their devices and walk around more, but it’s more of an issue of proper posture,” Fishman said. “In addition, it’s not just a teenager problem — young kids who play on their parent’s devices to even learn the alphabet should be taught to keep the phone at eye level.”

To help alleviate some of the pain, check out some easy exercises suggested from the Text Neck Institute in the above gallery. Do you suffer from text neck? Let us know in the comments.

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, Kalashnikov_O

More About: Mobile, smartphones, texting

One thought on “Is too Much Texting Giving You ‘Text Neck’?

  1. You should get a qualified Pilates instructor to demonstrate and teach you exactly how this is done safely! : ) depending on your posture it can be easy to take the strain into the lumbar spine and create even more neck tension without a little help to engage the correct muscles.