The Strain Texting Can Put on Your Cervical Spine

young woman texting

I have to say it’s disconcerting how many people seem to be absolutely hypnotized by the little screen they hold in their hands wherever they go.  Even walking down the street, people are mesmerized by it, not even looking up to see where they’re going.  Social media is full of videos of what happens when people do this and it’s not pretty.

Inattention to the world around you and isolation from interactions with others are only two of the consequences of the rise of the mobile device.  Another is the strain texting can put on your cervical spine.

While you’re hunkered down over a hot mobile device, thumbs a busy blur of perfunctory communication, your neck is taking a major beating.  Let’s talk about how this 21st Century habit is messing up the necks of the nation.


In 2014, Surgical Technology International published an alarming study on the connection between dysfunction in the cervical spine (your neck) and texting.

If you’re like most people, you’re spending between 2 and 4 hours every day with your head bowed before the almighty mobile device.  And your head is a heavy thing to be hanging from your neck.  At 10 to 13 pounds in weight, it’s no joke.

When you tilt your head forward at a 15-degree angle, you’re putting approximately 27 pounds of pressure on those vertebrae.  At 45 degrees, that’s 49 pounds of pressure.

These are figures which should make you cringe.

The study firmly established the causal link between texting and cervical spine dysfunction, so it’s clear that all your mobile device junkies out there are ripe for some serious correction.

Let’s Fix It

The solution to the problem isn’t in giving up your mobile device or not using it to text (insert sound of a heavy collective sigh of relief).  It’s in how you use it, especially for texting and reading texts and other materials.

Hold the device up to your face.

That’s it.  That’s all you need to do to evade the ill effects of texting on your cervical spine.  It’s very simple – when your head isn’t tilted forward, the pressure’s off.

You may be thinking that your neck doesn’t hurt and that you’re healthy and strong, so it’s not a big deal.  But what about 20 years from now?  If having a permanent problem in your cervical spine (and possibly your shoulders, with pain radiating down to your hands) doesn’t sound awesome, then maybe it’s time to take some good advice.

Back & Body Medical

Back & Body is an award-winning clinic in the heart of Manhattan, staffed by pain relief professionals.  I’m a chiropractor, working with a team of physical therapists, sports medicine experts and acupuncturists.  Our mission is to relieve pain by applying individualized programs of care.

You may have read this post because your neck hurts and you couldn’t believe it was from texting.  Well, now you know.

You also know about Back & Body, so hold that mobile device up to your face and contact us.

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