your kid’s posture is starting to suffer from always looking
down at a cellphone?
according to a national chain of physical therapy clinics,
which reports that more teens than ever are complaining of
"text neck," or back and neck pain that can only be
explained by the strain on the body caused by constant viewing
of hand-held technology.
have teens experiencing the same shoulder, neck and back pain
usually felt by people 30 years older," said Megan
Randich, a physical therapist and facility manager for
Athletico in Westchester, Ill. "They shouldn’t be
experiencing those issues."
said spine specialists also are seeing evidence of strain from
cellphone, tablet and laptop use in high school athletes who
complain that they don’t have the normal range of motion —
or feel pain when trying to throw a baseball, strike a
football stance or perform in other sporting activities.
physical therapists’ findings echo research published in
2014 in the National Library of Medicine, which warned that
the extra weight — sometimes up to 60 pounds — on the
cervical spine caused by looking down can lead to
wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery.
Towns, a mother of three in Palatine, Ill., said she and her
husband routinely try to enforce rules to limit their kids’
screen time, and thus, strain on their bodies. The family
doesn’t allow technology use during dinner or at family
gatherings. By 10:30 p.m. all electronics must be docked in a
charging station and remain off all night, she said.
Towns said she thinks all young people growing up in this era
are at risk for text neck.
have kids who are very active and not plugged in all the time,
but nonetheless, I completely believe that this could have an
effect on this generation moving forward," she said.
"They don’t talk on the phone, for starters, so all
their communication through peers is through texting. They’re
not even picking up their heads."
the Oak-Brook, Ill.,-based company with 350 clinics across the
U.S., is so concerned about the prevalence of text neck that
it has produced a list of stretches and exercises teens may do
to correct the damage and improve damaged tissue.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze: Pinch your shoulder blades back behind
you, working to touch your elbows. Once back as far as you can
go, hold the position for 5 seconds before relaxing. Repeat 20
to 30 times.
Stretch: Sit up tall with your head held high. Pull chin
toward your chest, creating a double chin, and hold this
position for 5 seconds. Repeat this 20 to 30 times.
Chest Stretch: Stand in the middle of a doorway and hold both
ends of the door frame. Lean forward until you feel a stretch.
Hold this position for 5 seconds and repeat 20 to 30 times.
added that another way for teens to combat text neck: Get
outside and be active.
this generation, there was so much more outdoor free
play," she said. "Activities used to counter any
poor posture or positioning. They’re no longer doing