The Text Neck Epidemic

Too much texting may be more than just a compulsive distraction.

New research suggests that constantly tilting your head to look down at a smartphone may result in severe neck strain. The human head generally weighs from 10 to 12 pounds, but back surgeon Kenneth Hansraj wanted to measure the variations in the amount of force exerted on the spine as the head bends forward.   Using computer models, he found that a head bowed at a 15-degree angle adds roughly 27 pounds of pressure on the spine. But when the angle increases to 60 degrees – a typical angle at which an upright person would look at a phone in his hand – that strain surges to 60 pounds, or roughly the weight of four bowling balls. The extra strain can cause neck cramps, pinched nerves, herniated discs, and early degeneration of the spine. “The problem is really profound in young people,”

Hansraj tells Washington “Just look around you – everyone has their heads down.”                        (The WEEK December 5, 2014)

Massage and neuromuscular therapy strategies to release neck, head and shoulder muscles can bring the head back to normal alignment over the trunk and thereby alleviate much of the pain associated with “Text Neck”.

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