Too Much Texting Linked to Health Risks

texting health risks
by Petr Kratochvil

Texting health risks being addressed in Chiropractic clinics across the nation is devastatingly on the rise. In 2008 the Smartphone outsold the laptop computer for the first time ever. Hand-held or mobile devices have now become our main connection to information and social networking. A survey taken at Temple University suggested that more college aged students between the ages of 18 and 21 preferred texting to emailing or even calling. Texting health risks are a huge problem for both adults and teens. People do not realize the impact of excessive texting is having on their health. We are calling this condition “text neck“.

The repetitive stress placed on the cervical spine during frequent forward flexion causes changes in the curve of the cervical spine and support structure. This support structure includes ligaments, tendons, musculature and also the bony segments. The common result of this repetitive stress can cause postural changes and imbalance as well as Forward Head Posture (FHP).

Among the chief complaints associated with text neck are:

  • Pain felt in the neck, as well as headaches, shoulder, back, arms down to the fingers
  • Upper extremity numbness and tingling.
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Loss of lung capacity
  • Pinched nerve (subluxation)
  • Spine degeneration (arthritis)

FHP has been shown to flatten the normal neck curve, resulting in disc compression, damage, and early arthritis. – Gore DR, Sepic SB, Gardner GM. Roentgenographic findings of the cervical spine in asymptomatic people. Spine 1986; 6:591-694

FHP results in loss of vital capacity of the lungs by as much as 30%. This shortness of breath can lead to heart and blood vascular disease. The entire gastrointestinal system is affected; particularly the large intestine. Loss of good bowel peristaltic function and evacuation is a common effect of FHP. –Rene Cailliet, M.D, Director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Southern California