Some chiropractors say they are seeing more neck injuries, collectively called “text neck,” related to chronic texting, showing the impact mobile-enabled behavior can have on the body.
More people now need the services of chiropractors because of strains created from chronic texting. Dubbed “text neck,” the condition is actually called Forward Head Posture, and common symptoms may include tightness across the shoulders, headaches, and neck soreness.
Forward Head Posture is actually caused by the increase in pressure on the musculature in the neck and shoulders from the downward angle that texters hold their heads at when using their phones.
“A study that was performed a few years ago found that for every inch the head was shifted forward off center, it actually increases the weight and the demand on the spine by 10 pounds,” said Adam Tanase, a chiropractor in St. Louis, Mo. “So just a head shifted forward an extra inch to an inch and a half, is going to be applying 20-25 pounds of extra pressure around the neck area which is essentially like wearing a truck tire around the neck.”
“Text neck” can eventually lead to irreversible arthritic degeneration down the years if left untreated, and chiropractors recommend texting from a raised position and consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist for exercises to relieve pressure in the area.
“Text neck” isn’t the only physical malady that constant mobile users can get from overuse of their devices. Frequent texters have been shown to develop carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and “texting thumb,” or sore fingers, as well.
A more aesthetically oriented texting-related ailment is “BlackBerry neck,” or neck wrinkles and creases caused by angling the head too forward to focus on smartphone usage. A New York spa and salon has developed a beauty treatment to counter the problem, proving that as much as users love their mobile devices, smartphones can also be a pain in the neck.