Text Neck: Is Your Smartphone Destroying Your Spine?

Brenda Kingen

By Brenda Kingen DC

So, what’s your body position while you’re reading this?

Are you slumping in your chair or hunched over with your neck sticking out like a turtle? Chances are your neck and shoulders feel sore.

Don’t just dismiss it as everyday fatigue. Doctors say that 80% of technology-users are complaining of a neck or back aches. And there is a name for it: Text Neck!

What is the Text Neck Doing to You?

On average, the human head weighs about 11lbs. But when you start fiddling with your phones or tabs, you automatically hunch over. Now this puts more pressure on the spine.

A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that when your neck is bent at a 15% angle, your head puts a pressure of 30 lbs. on your spine, that’s more than double of what it actually weighs. At 30 degrees it is 40 lbs., and at 60 degrees the pressure increases to 60 lbs.! And there is a name for it: Text Neck!

Do you know what 60 lbs. of weight feels like? Imagine a 10-year-old wrapped around your neck for several hours a day! The study concluded that for every inch the head tilts forward, the pressure on the spine doubles.

Doctors warn that overtime this posture will flatten out the natural curve of your neck putting more strain on your disc. Eventually the wear and tear of the spine may affect it’s functioning and even require corrective surgery.

It’s not just the neck and spine that are suffering.

The poor posture reduces your respiratory capacity by 30%, that is your ability to take in air. So, if you aren’t getting enough air in your lungs, all those organs in your body will also not get enough oxygen. And the excessive smartphone use is known to cause digital eye strain as well.


  • Raise your phone to eye/neck level
  • You can scroll down your device with your eyes, there is no need to bend the neck along with it.
  • Don’t slouch! Sit up straight.
  • Roll your shoulders back and tuck your chin. Keep your elbows tucked in.
  • Exercise. Move your head from left to right several times a day.

Dr. Brenda Kingen has almost 25 years of experience. She utilizes Chiropractic adjustments, Active Release Technique, Acupuncture and Laser therapy in her practice. The office is located at Kingen Chiropractic Wellness Center, 2001 S. Hanley Rd., Ste. 220, Brentwood, MO 63144 She can be reached at 314-646-0013.