Insight by Dr. Nicole Mastando

Smartphones and the physical consequences

Posted: September 26, 2015
By: Dr Nicole Mastando

"Text Neck" refers to the pain injury and spinal misalignment associated with looking down for long periods of time, say from the use of digital devices like smart phones.

According to a recent study (, the average person spends 90 minutes a day on their phone. Whether it is texting, game playing or web browsing, Americans are clearly obsessed with their smartphones.

Looking down for extended periods of time will eventually cause a decrease in the normal neck curve, which is called a lordotic curve or lordosis. A decreas in lordosis can cause serious and irreversible damage like Degenerative Disc Disease, Osteoarthritis, herniated discs and a secondary misalignment of the upper back.

Being that the spinal cord is surrounded and protected by the spinal bones, it is quite possible a decrease in the neck's natural curve can effect the function of the spinal cord.

Symptoms of text neck included chronic headaches, neck pain, upper back pain, muscle weakness, shoulder pain and even numbness.  If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to have a doctor take an X-ray of your neck to see if the lordosis is in tact.