Text Neck: A New Disease?

By Ruth Kava — Oct 07, 2016
Here's a new health condition — text neck — supposedly caused by too much attention focused on texting. While we do believe that you can get a stiff neck from a poor position, we find it hard to believe that texting can lead to multiple ailments. Falling into a manhole, sure. But this?
credit: shutterstock

Yep, cautions abound about having your attention focused on your phone while walking, driving, or supposedly taking notes in class. Some such situations can obviously result in grievous bodily harm — walking into an open manhole or driving into a tree, for example.

Others, not so much. And now there's yet a new condition for all you inveterate texters out there — text neck. Haven't heard of this yet? Well, neither had we, until we were alerted to a website run by chiropractor Alan Mandell. According to "Dr." Mandell, the forward head posture typical of texters can result in: disc herniation, bulging discs, arthritis, bone spurs, shoulder pronation and on and on. And not only that, hunching forward doesn't allow you to fill your lungs with air as you would normally.

So, has this latest tech-driven epidemic been acknowledged by mainstream medicine? Well, not really. At least, not that we can tell from a Google scholar search.

This is not to say that we don't believe that maintaining a hunched position for long periods can result in at least some discomfort. But we find it hard to believe that it's responsible for all the ailments to which humans are prone. But then, we're not chiropractors, although we have written about them here.

And skepticism aside, we certainly do subscribe to at least some of the warnings about texting:

And if you get a stiff neck, lay off the phone for a while.

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