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'Text neck' can be a real pain in the neck

Posted: 3:17 PM, Jun 29, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-29 18:29:22-04

Like so many teens, Trevor Baier spends a big part of his life on his phone. Unfortunately, that means he's spending another part of his life at the Cleveland Chiropractic Health Center in Overland Park.

Trevor has text neck.

"It causes a lot of tightness in my back and neck," said Baier. "Whenever I come here it just relieves a lot of that."

Baier meets with chiropractor Dr. Stuart McIntosh frequently, who massages his spine and neck back into place.

"When we're looking down at those devices," said McIntosh of phones, "that's what's causing the strain in the back of the neck, so when we see the increase in technology, we also see the increase in text neck."

One study published in the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics found 53 percent of cell phone users suffer from numbness or neck aches.

"Every inch that we move forward almost doubles the stress on the neck, and so when we're constantly looking down at our phones, the stresses that are on the neck are greatly increased," said McIntosh.

The doctor says those who want to avoid text neck should simply spend less time on their phones. But those who are too addicted should take more breaks or simply hold their phones in a more upright position.

Symptoms of text neck include tightness or a dull pain in the back or neck and even headaches.

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Justin Wilfon can be reached at  justin.wilfon@kshb.com.

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