Believe it or not this is an actual syndrome, this term, text neck, was first coined by a chiropractor in Florida. It’s defined as overuse syndrome involving the head, neck and shoulders, usually resulting from excessive strain on the spine from looking in a downward position at hand held devices such as mobile phones, mp3 players, e-books and tablets.

I have written a number of blogs on posture and how important it is for those of you in office jobs to ensure you maintain a good posture during your working day. This issue is now starting to extend itself to all of us as we all increase our use of hand held devices and communicate by text.

text-neck-syndrome2Irish people are amongst the biggest “texters” in the world. According to ComReg (2012), on average, over a billion text messages were sent every month in the first six months of 2012.

Texting is now a more popular method of communication in Ireland than making a phone call.

The most frequent texters in Britain are 12-15 year olds, who send an average of 193 texts a week – almost four times as many as the population as a whole.

As result, people who are frequently hunched over their mobile phones are more prone to experience headaches, neck pain and shoulder pain.  The curving of the body to read and send text messages is subjecting people to these painful postural conditions.


The term Text Neck was developed to relate the pain to frequent texting. However, the condition has been around long before the first mobile phone.  The more commonly known postural issue, Forward Head Posture is as a result of us being bent over our desks to glare at the computer screen all day.


Young-People-TextingUnfortunately with the growing popularity of social media and mobile phones we are now not only spending 8 hours a day hunched over our desk in work, but also now spending every spare minute hunched over our phones after work.




Preventing Text Neck / Forward Head Posture:

I am seeing more and more people with this condition, call it what you like Text Neck or Forward Head Posture, it is a very painful condition that needs quite a lot of time and effort for clients to reverse. Below are a couple of methods to help prevent the development of this postural issue.

  • Modify the position of the device: If it is a phone try to hold it up at eye level, if it is a laptop in work again try to use a monitor placed at eye level.
  • Take breaks: Be aware that you’re using these devices all day so force yourself to take a break and to change or alter your position.
  • Physical fitness: Developing a strong, flexible back, neck and shoulders will help you deal with abnormal stresses and reduce postural issues. E.g. Pilates would be an ideal exercise to help maintain strength to help prevent  these postural issue developing.

There are a few steps you can take to prevent text neck. Regular physical therapy for any ongoing pain is also advised. In addition, to getting expert advise on how to prevent future pain, I would also prescribe quick and easy daily exercises. I also teach correct posture both for the office and how to carry yourself on a daily basis.

If you would like to learn more or make an appointment please contact me at Range of Motion Physical Therapy, Lucan Dublin.