CommunityHealth Fix


Is text neck a true concern? How bad posture can affect your health

Posted at 9:34 AM, Dec 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-08 12:58:46-05

Text neck is a term used to describe the pain and stiffness associated with the overuse of muscles in the upper back from looking down at your cell phone or other wireless devices too frequently and for too long. Although this particular posture is nothing new, bending our necks to look down at our cell phones adds another stressor on our bodies. Also, text neck is seen more frequently in children, which could possibly lead to damage of the cervical spine and lifelong neck pain.

Symptoms of Text Neck

  • Neck pain and soreness
  • Upper back pain that is nagging or sharp
  • Upper back muscle spasms
  • Shoulder pain and tightness
  • Pinched nerve that can cause neurological symptoms and pain

Prevention of Text Neck

In order to prevent the development or advancement of text neck, a change in posture and ergonomics is key.

  • Try to hold your cellphone or other wireless devices at eye level
  • Position your laptop or tablets at eye level
  • Take breaks from your cell phone and laptop throughout the day
  • If you sit for extended periods of time, try to stand up and walk around
  • Try to be mindful of your posture, especially if you sit at a desk

Treatment Options

Rehabilitation may be necessary if you do have neck and upper back pain from looking down at your cellphone. Rehab may include:

  • Strengthening core muscles
  • Practicing neck stretches
  • Improving overall posture and neck alignment