Got a Pain in the Neck? Maybe It's “Text Neck”

Texting… texting… texting!

Cell phone texting has become the most used form of communication between teens and their friends. The Pew Research Center recently found that a third of teens send more than 100 text messages a day.

"Oh, all the time. When I get a text, I respond instantly," said Burbank teen Meg Manners.

However, all that texting has caused her to get a painful condition that is afflicting many teens and adults: "Text Neck."

Chiropractor Ron Marinaro says it happens when you are in the texting position so much that you get a repetitive motion injury.

"Most kids today don't use desks. They may as well put cup holders in beds cause they're sitting in bed, on the computer, on iPods, they're texting," Marinaro said.

"So they're assuming a position, of what we would call hyperkyphosis, where your back is much more in a slouched position, so you're putting a lot of pressure on their back. Eventually their muscles climb up to their ears because of these muscles that tense up, and they're carrying their head in a forward position," he said.

Manners wound up with a pinched nerve. She came to Marinaro for help. He relieved her pain through chiropractic adjustments and massage. Then he taught her some exercises to change her posture.

First, build the muscles that pull the shoulders back. Then, exercises to strengthen the core, and lift the body.

Last piece of advice: when texting, bring the phone to eye level.

"I used to hold my phone down here, which would make me slouch, but Dr. Ron saw me texting one day, and he told me to put the phone in front of my face. And I was like, 'Oh my gosh. It's completely different,'" Manners said. 

She has been following the prescription, and has gotten much better.

"I would make an effort to sit up straight, and it would actually make me feel better," she said. "It's taken me days and months to get the posture that I have now, but it's really helped me."

Manners also sleeps with an orthopedic pillow that supports her neck at night. 

For more information, visit

Contact Us