Text Neck Syndrome: an unnecessary condition

Text Neck Syndrome: an unnecessary condition
Fecha de publicación: 
30 March 2023
Imagen principal: 

Technology has many good features, but also, as with almost everything else, it has negative features as well.

This is the case of the so-called Text Neck, considered a modern and growing condition, associated precisely with the use of technologies, in particular, mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets.

If you, who are now reading, do so on one of these devices, be aware of your posture and that of people around you while interacting with such devices. You will see that probably yourself, and the vast majority, keep your head and neck, and sometimes also your back, abnormally inclined towards the screen.

The weight of the head represents between 7% and 8% of the total weight of the body, if on average we estimate that the head weighs 5 kg, that will be exactly the weight that the neck and spine will support when the ears are seen in a straight line over the shoulders.

But proportionally, as the head leans forward, the load increases; in such a way that when it forms an angle of 15 degrees the effort is equivalent to loading 12 kg. If the angle is 30 degrees, there are 18 kg to support. It is like carrying a four-year-old, average weight, piggybacking on your neck.

Thus, the Text Neck condition is defined as the alterations that occur due to an increase in tension in the cervical area due to this sustained flexion of the neck in front of the digital screen.

What are the symptoms?

Before the proliferation of smart devices, ailments were concentrated in the wrist and hand that held the mouse; now, digital technology along with its advantages has brought new pain in other body parts.

It was in 2008 when the American Doctor Dean L. Fishman coined the term Text Neck, based on his experience as a pioneer in the treatment of conditions related to technology as a chiropractor.

From then on, it has been specified that among the symptoms that accompany this condition are the sensation of stiffness (muscular contracture) and neck, shoulder and back pain, as well as headaches and dizziness.

Over time other pains may appear, such as neuropathic pain, caused by inflammation of the nerves that pass through the spine. It is also possible that compression and herniated discs occur, as well as alterations in the alignment of the vertebrae of the cervical spine.


The use of technologies is almost inevitable, but the conditions associated with them are not, such as Text Neck, which, being so widespread, some even describe it as an emerging pandemic of the 21st century, although no statistics can be found online about how this condition affects Cubans.

To prevent Text Neck, experts recommend trying to keep the mobile device almost at eye level instead of bending your neck, and, if possible, favor voice messages over text messages.

They also suggest avoiding maintaining the same posture for a long time and performing exercises to relieve excessive neck flexion.

The most important thing is to understand that flexing your neck in front of the screen is a bad habit, and then consciously try to change it. The same goes for the family, the school and also the workplace. Better safe than sorry.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff


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