Cell phone, computer use give rise to new condition, text neck

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The increased use of technology is causing an increase in cases of a painful condition that's being called "text neck."

Doctors at Cleveland University Kansas City Health Center (CUKCHC), in Overland Park, Kansas, said the neck pain is caused by improper posture when people are using their cell phones and computers.    

Mark Pfefer, D.C., Head of Research at CUKCHC explained that many people tilt their heads down to look at their cell phones and computers.

"Your head weighs about 10 pounds," explained Dr. Pfefer.  "When you tilt it at a 40-degree angle or a 60-degree angle, it can increase the weight of the head to as much as 60 pounds which is like putting three 20-pound bowling balls on your neck," he added.

The increased pressure on the spine, can cause extreme neck pain, back pain and headaches.

"It is easily treatable. We advise patients on the correct way to hold their devices. We also do a series of adjustments and we also give patients a series of exercises to improve their posture," said Dr. Pfefer.

He explained that people should hold their devices slightly lower than eye level so the head is only slightly tilting down to read. He said computer screens should also be adjusted so people are only slightly tilting their head down to read it.

Dr. Pfefer emphasized that maintaining good posture is good for overall health and wellness. He said when people have prolonged neck pain they should get examined by a doctor to determine what's causing it.

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