Text neck: An adverse postural phenomenon

Ira Fiebert, Fran Kistner, Christine Gissendanner, Christopher Dasilva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The excessive use of hand-held mobile devices (HHMD) leads to a postural phenomenon known as text neck. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this paper is to discuss the anatomical, biomechanical and muscle activation changes within the cervical and thoracic regions associated with the sustained, forward, flexed neck posture, observed with excessive usage of hand-held mobile devices. Additionally, this paper examines the relationship of gender, as well as the effects of carrying backpack loads by youth, on this forward, flexed neck posture. METHODS: Multiple aspects of the text neck position that occur when an individual uses a HHMD are described. RESULTS: Prolonged use of hand-held mobile devices results in adverse anatomical and biomechanical changes in the cervical and thoracic spine, muscular imbalances, and postural compensations, all of which contribute to muscular overuse and fatigue resulting in pain. CONCLUSIONS: Physical therapists must educate their patients about proper posture while using hand-held mobile devices. Proper posture includes: holding the device close to eye level, using the device while standing or sitting and holding the device with a line of sight perpendicular to the surface of the device, using a larger screen, and texting with both hands. Also, because children are using hand held mobile devices at younger ages, parents and teachers must be educated about the dangers of prolonged use of hand-held devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1261-1270
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • cervical pain
  • Forward head posture
  • mobile phone
  • neck pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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