What is Text Neck? And Why Is It a Problem?

Nov 21, 2022 | Posture

Text Neck, also known as ‘Tech Neck’ and ‘Forward Head Posture,’ happens when the head protrudes forward and out of the natural alignment. For every inch your head moves forward, it places approximately 10 additional pounds of weight on your neck and upper back muscles (as well as causes further misalignments).

While, inevitably, pain is a huge problem here, there is a lot more going on! Surprisingly, your text neck problems can spill over into your general health, having huge implications on your daily function and longevity. So, let’s take a closer look at this phenomenon and uncover exactly how text neck can negatively impact your entire body (and what you can do about it!).

7 Negative Impacts Caused By Text Neck

Text neck isn’t just about an unsightly appearance, meaning there are tons of reasons why you want to prevent this posture or correct it. 

Not convinced? Here are the negative impacts of text neck on the rest of your body:

1. Headaches

The forward pull of the head on the neck can result in tight muscles and muscle spasms. When the neck muscles come under strain, this can increase your risk of experiencing headaches. These headaches can range from mild to severe and also range in their duration, depending on the person and their specific posture.

2. Breathing Issues

Text neck pulls the body forward. This means it’s usually not just your head that’s protruding forward. Usually, the shoulders will follow. All of this means your respiratory system has less room to do its job right. 

Research even demonstrates this to be the case, showing that forward head posture causes significantly lower forced vital capacity, expiratory and inspiratory reserve volumes, and forced expiratory volume. In other words, with this problematic posture, a person has a reduced respiratory capacity and is unable to breathe as efficiently and effectively as someone with a neutral alignment.

3. Neck Pain

Inevitably, the pull of the head on the neck muscles and upper back muscles can lead to varying degrees of neck pain and stiffness. Eventually, this can even lead to more permanent pain problems, such as disc degeneration (which we explore more below).

4. Jaw Pain

The same reason you experience headaches due to text neck is why you may struggle with jaw or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain or dysfunction. Tight muscles around the neck begin to pull on those in the head and jaw, creating further problems.

5. Numbness and Tingling in the Hands

This usually only occurs in more severe cases of text neck. Numbness and tingling in the hands may arise when the nerve that runs from your neck and down your arm becomes compressed due to the text neck posture. 

6. Disc Degeneration

Changes in the spine due to text neck can result in permanent deformities relating to disc degeneration and osteoarthritis. When the neck protrudes forward, much more pressure is placed on the upper spine and back. This can lead to accelerated wear and tear of the cartilage and discs between the vertebrae.

7. Poor Circulation

Any spinal misalignment can result in reduced blood flow in the body. This is because a misalignment interferes with your brain’s ability to communicate with the rest of your body, altering the function of various systems, including your circulatory system.

Treating Text Neck

Ideally, the best approach is to prevent text neck altogether. However, if you’ve begun to notice a hump on the back of your neck, you might already be assuming this undesirable posture. This means you want to pay close attention to how you hold your head as you go about your daily activities. 

For instance, make sure you’re not looking down at your computer or phone screen. These should always be brought to eye level to prevent text neck and neck pain. Taking breaks away from technology can also help reinforce better posture.

Heat can further alleviate some of the pain associated with this condition while you actively work to fix the problem. You may also want to adjust your pillow so that your head isn’t sitting too high each night. For example, if you’re waking up with neck pain, this is definitely something you’ll want to experiment with and fix. 
At Posture & Wellness, our chiropractic team in Finsbury Park can help correct your posture and eliminate pain. Book your FREE discovery call to find out more about how a chiropractor can help you! BOOK NOW.