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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is text neck?

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    I am a specialist sports physiotherapist with a sub-speciality in adolescents in sport (as awarded bu the Australian College of Physiotherapists in 2007). In addition … View Profile

    Text neck is a lay term for any type of neck pain, headaches and/or arm pain resulting from over using hand held devices such as mobile phones and video games. The symptoms generally arise from a combination of the time spent using such devices and the posture in which you are using devices.  Usually when you are using a laptop or PC it is a desk, with a good chair and generally you have at least made some attempt to set up your desk ergonomically, however, when you are using hand held devices, there is usually little or no thought about your posture whilst doing so and often you are walking around, sitting on the couch, out and about with friends and so forth, and the devices are small to you may have to strain your eyes or bend your neck down to see properly.  Thus, you are my likely to get get neck pain, headaches and arm pain from hand held devices than PCs and laptops.  As these smaller devices become more popular, we are likley to see more symptoms related to their use.

  • Located in Armadale and Doncaster, Dr Michael Black has an interest in childrens' health and pregnancy. He is passionate aout sharing the benefits of chiropractic … View Profile

    Loretta has summarised this very well. Text neck is a term coined in the U.S a few years ago and well describes the accumulated wear and tear in the neck joints and soft tissues from prolonged flexion of the neck using mobile devices. Since text neck was first described attributed to smartphone texting, it can now be extended to use of all mobile devices including ipads and tablets.

    Since nearly all homes have wireless internet, we are not likely to be sitting at a desk to work on a computer. Rather, every home sees family members sitting on the couch with tablets, smartphones and notebooks in their lap promoting prolonged neck flexion of worrying angles. The need to be aware of using a support under these devices to alleviate neck strain is paramount and practitioners of all types need to educate patients about their poor habits.

    As youngsters reach for their parents smartphones with frequency to play, no one is alerting them to the bad postural habits they are developing and it has little to do with texting any more. The constant need to be connected with social media assures that neck strains are becoming more frequent and the presence or absence of symptoms has little to do with it.

    Those with the worst posture may not yet be in pain as young bodies adapt to the strain. When pain finally strikes with an acute episode of ‘wry neck’, headache, neck tension or pain, it is unlikely that the background build up of strain from text neck will be related to the acute pain and injury.

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