OC Sports & Rehab

Look around these days, and you’ll find people, young and old, mesmerized by smartphones and computer screens. It seems that everyone is spending time looking down and tapping away at handheld devices.

Text neck is the newest term for neck pain that is caused by using a handheld device like a smartphone or small tablet. It occurs when our necks are in a forward flexed position for long hours while texting, checking social media or playing on your phone. 

What is Text-Neck?

Text neck (or tech neck) is a modern age term used to describe repeated stress injury and pain in the neck resulting from excessive watching or texting on hand-held devices over a sustained period of time.

Symptoms of Text Neck

Flexing the head forward to use a smartphone directly affects the spine. Tilting the head forward to 15 degrees places about 27 pounds of force on the neck. This increases to 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees, and 60 pounds at 60 degrees. Damage caused by untreated text neck can be similar to occupational overuse syndrome or repetitive stress/strain injury.


Text neck most commonly causes neck pain and soreness. Also, looking down at your cell phone too much each day can lead to:

  • Upper back pain ranging from chronic, nagging pain to sharp, severe upper back muscle spasms.
  • Shoulder pain and tightness, possibly resulting in painful shoulder muscle spasm.
  • If a nerve becomes pinched, pain, and possibly neurological symptoms can radiate down your arm and into your hand.
  • May cause issues in your arms and hands
  • Headaches
  • Other health issues

If you are experiencing “text neck” or “tech neck” OC Sports and Therapy can help!