Malady of the Cell-Obsessed: 'Text Neck'

Head is too heavy, leading to neck, back pain
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2011 2:19 AM CDT
Updated Oct 7, 2011 5:07 AM CDT
Malady of the Cell-Obsessed: 'Text Neck'
Neck ache?   (?sk8geek)

(Newser) – Texting is turning out to be a real pain in the neck. Dedicated texters are spending so much time with their heads bent over their cellphones or iPads that it's causing muscle strain, creating headaches, neck and back pain, and even problems with fingers and wrists, warn doctors who are treating increasing cases of "text neck." For the totally text-obsessed, the muscles can eventually adapt to the flexed position, making it painful to straighten up, reports the Telegraph. The average human head weighs 10 to 12 pounds, and the neck and shoulders are not made to support it for long stretches over a cellphone. Children are most at risk because their heads are larger in relation to their body size than adults.

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"When the head is over the shoulders it is a bit like a balanced see-saw, and when you move it forward you need to put a force in place to keep it in that position," explained one doctor. "The longer you are in that position for, the more the muscles have to accommodate it." But isn't it impossible to give up texting? Absolutely. So you've got to take frequents breaks; stretch your head, neck, and back; and try holding the phone higher, suggest experts. (Read more texting stories.)

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