Does my neck hurt because of my cell phone?

Dr Leisa

Most likely, yes. There is a new spinal condition called Text Neck. Text Neck describes the pain that happens in your neck when you look down at your cell phone, tablet or other device for too long. You don’t need to be texting for long periods of time to suffer from Text Neck. Any activity with a wireless device and looking down with intention will cause this problem.

Are Kids At Risk of Long Term Damage To Their Spine?

Yes. This is more common with younger children now, and they are looking down in this posture for much longer periods of time. This damage is cumulative and may become worse as they age. In my practice, I am seeing younger people with serious spinal diseases of their neck. Diseases like stenosis, that I would see in patients well into their 70s, are now presenting in my patients as young as in their 30s.

How Do I Know If I Have Text Neck?

Symptoms include neck pain, burning, and spasms of the neck and upper back muscles. Some patients experience burning in their upper neck that radiates to a headache. This condition can also cause tingling or numbness in the arms down to the fingers. This may be a serious arthritic condition at this point. Over using the neck in a flexed position, causes the neck muscles to tighten to support the spine in this in natural position for so long. This is where the ache and burning comes in.

So What Can I Do To Treat And Prevent Text Neck?

Be aware of keeping your phone at eye level. This ensures your neck to be in a proper posture that does not cause the dysfunction. While you are working on your cell phone or other device, be sure and put it down to take a break. I suggest that my patients set their phone timer so that they can put it down every 15 or 20 minutes. I then recommend they rub their neck and stretch it gently from side to side. Take a few deep breaths, and breathe out slowly to relax and refresh. Then look back at their phone or device and continue working until the next break. Always being sure that the device is at eye level. I also recommend that any computers used at work or home are at eye level. This bending forward to look at the screen in a flexed position will also cause the same condition.

Seeing your chiropractor regularly will ensure that your spine is in alignment. Tell your doctor that you use a device quite often and are experiencing these symptoms. I’ve been treating this condition since people have been using smart phones. More and more time has been spent on the phone and of course looking down as a result. If you think you may have this condition please call my office for a complementary evaluation.

For questions regarding my articles, please email me at
Leisa-Marie Grgula, D.C. Chiropractic Physician

Accurate Care Pain Relief Center 21043 N. Cave Creek Rd. #A9 Phoenix, AZ 85024 602-493-2228