Doctor claims text neck is a global pandemic - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Doctor claims text neck is a global pandemic

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - You've probably heard of the condition; "text neck." It involves holding your head in an unusual posture as you spend hours and hours texting every day.

Now one doctor is calling it a "global pandemic."

Dominic McGovern is a fitness coach who admits even he hunches over his phone throughout the day.

"I definitely can catch myself doing that with work, everything on the phone," said Dominic McGovern.

Dominic could be suffering from a new health phenomenon that some call text neck. It's an unhealthy curvature in the spine, and it appears when you lean over technology for longer periods of time.

"If you're looking down at your phone, iPad, or device you're putting extra strain on your neck, shoulder blades, and your shoulders in general," said Jennifer Bishop.

Dr. Jennifer Bishop says she treats patients who suffer from text neck. It's most common in children and young adults. A study by the international data corporation shows that 79% of 18-44 year-olds now have their phones with them 22 hours a day.

"It's going to be a generational thing, we want to get these kids using the proper ergonomics," said Bishop.

To prevent text neck, the doctor recommends you sit straight and hold your phone at eye level.

"With her head being forward like this there's extra stress on her neck, and also on her shoulders, and the rest of her spine. Because her spine is all one unit connected. So I would have her try to sit up as best, you can and maybe bring the phone up this way," she said.

The doctor says if you can't help but look down at the phone, try to take breaks from leaning over it. Dominic said he tries to use his phone as little as possible outside of work; he encourages core exercises to build a strong neck and back. 

Last year, an estimated 1.9 trillion text messages were sent in the United States.
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