Constantly leaning over our little screens is becoming a painful habit. In practice I am seeing a rise in back problems in part due to hunching over technology for extended periods of time. I’m particularly concerned with the younger generation. This new medical term “Text neck” is derived from the onset of frequent forward flexion of the cervical spine which changes the curve, supporting ligaments, tendons, and musculature, as well as the bony segments, commonly causing postural change. Among the chief complaints associated with Text Neck are pain felt in the neck, shoulder, back, arm, fingers, hands, wrists and elbows, as well as headaches and numbness and tingling of the upper extremities.
In reflection, I found that I was a culprit of the same issue and have taught myself to change bad habits by holding my phone higher to look straight as opposed to down. Educating my patients about the same changes that work for me is another story. I still see my patients looking down at their phones in the waiting room and then continue to complain about their neck pains. I will have to just pursue and have faith that they will learn.