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Is Your Smartphone Giving You ‘Text Neck?’

Is Your Smartphone Giving You 'Text Neck'?
Spencer Platt, Getty Images


Getting your hands on the iPhone 5 may be a real pain in the neck.

And not for the reasons you may think.

These essentials of the modern day world have become a staple of daily life, but physical therapists warn that heavy usage can actually result in a painful physical condition. It’s called “text neck” and it could be coming for you, chronic smartphone users.

The term was originally coined in 2008 by Dr. Dean Fishman after examining a 17-year-old patient complaining of headaches and neck discomfort. Turns out, the pain was caused by hours spent over a cell phone texting. Since then, cases of this condition have increased dramatically, especially in young people.

When a person bends their head forward, pressure on the spine doubles. Maintaining this position for extended periods of time can cause muscle strain, disc herniations and pinched nerves. Even worse, it can flatten the curve of one’s neck.

To combat the problem, experts recommend that people be aware of their posture at all times. Avoid slouching, pull your shoulders back and keep your head straight. Above all, take a break every 20 minutes while using smartphones, tablets and computers. Doing so will help improve blood flow and decrease the chance of metabolic, vascular or gastrointestinal problems due to bad posture.


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