‘Text neck’ could lead to permanent damage

Young woman with a coffee using mobile phone

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – If you’re looking down at your phone, you may want to put it down at least for this story.

You’re causing something called text neck, it’s a real thing, and could lead to permanent damage in your spine. The scary part is, it’s happening to younger and younger kids.

It can be hard to take your eyes off a glowing screen reading, playing a game, or writing a message to your friend, but all that time you spend hunched over looking down is hurting you, a lot.

“You start to see them coming into the office with a lot of neck discomfort,” Dr. Thomas McCormack, from St. Peter’s Spine and Neurosurgery, said.

He’s an expert in all things related to your back and he’s noticed a troubling trend. Dr. McCormack says we’re staring at our phones, tablets, and laptops for too long.

“We don’t move our heads and we just watch them and our neck muscles don’t move.”

The average head weighs 10 to 12 pounds. When you look down at your phone, it puts all this pressure on your spine, leading to early wear and tear.

“Eighteen and 19-year-olds they’re starting to fail their discs; they herniate and get arm pain. We’re also operating on people earlier.”

The doctor also recommends stop what you’re doing every 20-30 minutes and move your head around.

You can also pick up an activity you enjoy like yoga or light stretches to prevent damage.

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