Have you heard of “text neck?”

Arizona back hard with pool and pool bar.
My favorite place to read is in a zero gravity chair with this view. I’m looking up, not down.

I hadn’t heard of it. But I’ve felt it. It’s a pain in the neck. I ran across this term last week and since the back of my neck hurts, I wanted to find out more about it.

Text neck is caused by looking down at our phones. I find I look down not only at my phone, but when I’m on my laptop and reading a book, too. I spend too much time doing all three of those. I wonder if I have text neck or if I’ve been sleeping wrong? The other culprit may be the crunches that I’ve added to my exercise routine. Crunches strain my neck.

Here’s an excerpt of an article from NBC that talks about text neck and offers four exercises to help with it called 4 exercises to combat ‘text neck’ by Brianna Steinhilber.

“Looking down promotes a forward head posture. For every inch forward you hold your head, the weight carried down through the spine increases by 10 pounds” says Dr. Karena Wu, physical therapist and owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy in NYC and Mumbai. “Looking down puts pressure on the front of the neck and gaps the back. This is especially troublesome as it can cause intervertebral discs to migrate backward, thereby increasing the chances for disc bulges. It also strains the back of the neck as the muscles on the backside are in a constant state of contraction, trying to pull and support the head (which weighs 8-10 pounds) in this too far forward position. That leads to muscle strain and pain on the back of the neck.” And it doesn’t end there. Wu goes on to say that text neck also “creates tightening on the front of the neck and chest which then leads to discomfort or dysfunction into the shoulders and middle of the back.”

“Because people are so reliant on their phones, they mentally are so lost in their work that they lose track of their posture. If you spend a long time in the ‘text neck’ position, you have to spend at least the same amount, if not more in the opposite position in order for the neck to stay in balance,” says Dr. Wu. “These exercises increase flexibility in the tight muscles (chest), restore postural alignment and increase firing of muscle stabilizers. Wu says we lose 10 percent of our height due to spinal compression and “this one exercise helps to unload our own joints and increase the space between the vertebrae (spinal bones).”


If you click on the link, you can find out about the exercises to combat this pain that is in the back of the next, shoulders and back. I’m wondering if I should find a better place to be on my laptop than the tiny kitchen table in the casita. Maybe I need to raise up the laptop or get a lower seat so I’m not looking down.

Have you heard of text neck? Have you experienced it? What have you done about it? When you’re on your computer or laptop, are your eyes level with your screen? Any other suggestions to combat text neck?

19 thoughts on “Have you heard of “text neck?”

  1. Yes I’ve heard of it. I have a good desk chair at a good height for writing. I only use my laptop when I can be positioned well. When I read in bed, we got a bed frame that adjusts, so I bring my head up to a good position. My problem is when I read outside if the house. I try to use a heated neck wrap a few times a week

  2. That is one more reason to stay off your phone! I have some time to myself this morning and took a day for a few appointments. I often sit at the computer too long and my knees and hip hurt.

  3. I’ve tried a higher table, and then my shoulders hurt because my keyboard is too high, lol! I think the key is to have a monitor that is separate from the keyboard and raise it up to where we don’t have to look down. I have the added problem of being too short for my chair, needing a footstool. It all really means that once I achieve the perfect set up, I’m not really mobile, even though I have a laptop. haha! I try to stop every hour and go for a walk or at least stretch. Its a struggle. I hear you!

  4. This morning there are a plethora (always wanted to use that word) of blog posts in my feed that cover a wide range of topics that are all relevant to me. So far, November is off to a wonderful start!

    I’ve noticed that my neck has a small hump, as if it’s not properly shaped. I realize this is due to my posture, which could also be text neck. So, once I finish all of my blog post reading, I’m going to read that article.

  5. I haven’t heard of tech neck but it sounds totally believable. I am not on my phone for extended periods and my computer screen is set at eye level so I’m okay there. Sometimes I get stiff shoulders if I am doing a lot of work because my arms are in one position for a long time. I have to remember to get up and stretch every few hours.

Leave a Reply