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Do you have a "Text Neck"...? Beware!

Don't believe you look like a turtle? Have a look at your profile......

Have you been travelling on the MTR or in a taxi without even noticing that you arrived at your destination? Bumping into people you didn't see coming? Almost fell down because of a step you missed?

A common reason for all that might be happening is because your nose is stuck in your phone, scrolling for the latest Facebook update, last minute emails or reports to write...

Hong Kong is known for its busy life and connected people. Census and statistic department of HK showed that in 2016, 96% of the population over 10 years old had a smartphone, 82% of teenagers (10-14Y) and 99% of adults (20-49Y).

The "Text Neck" is a modern term to describe an overuse syndrome or repeated stress injury caused by an excessive forward or downward head position on handheld devices for an extend period of time.

Apart from neck pain it causes chronic neck pain, upper back, shoulder pain, headaches and increases your thoracic Kyphosis.

Symptoms of a "Text Neck"

Holding your head in that position creates an excessive amount of tension in the deep neck muscle. The normal average force applied on the spine is about 10-12lb (4.5/5.5kg). 15 degrees forward is enough to increase 125% of the force on your spine and even more with forward tilting.

This comes with visible physical symptoms like:

  • Stiff neck, soreness and difficulty to move it especially after long static posture.

  • Nagging or sharp pain and even chronic pain (when it lasts more than 3 months)

  • Radiating pain towards the head and/or the shoulders, upper back.

  • Headache easily triggered by looking down/forward while using the device.

Invisible Symptoms Like:

  • Cervical disc compression

  • Muscle weakness

  • Early onset of arthritis

Management of a "Text Neck":

A few tips to avoid further issues or worsening your condition:

  • Hold the device at your eye level or slightly under to release the force applied on the spine

  • Avoid long static posture

  • Take a break as often as you can, every 30 minutes to change your posture and stretch your neck

Physical Therapy can help you to get rid of these bad habits by giving you a personalised program on how to improve posture, increase neck straightening and strengthening.

Be proud! Heads Up!!!

Here is a great video about the benefits of good posture.

Look out for your children on their phone, growing with that posture could damage their spine and create neck and back pain in their lifelong term. Give them the good model to follow, keep looking up too.

If you think you may be suffering from a Text Neck or any other postural issues, give us a call on 2648 2612 or book online at The Round Clinic.

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