Let’s Move Quad Cities: What To Do To Prevent “Text Neck”

A recent study finds Americans spend more than four hours every day on their cell phones and all of that looking down is causing a painful condition for some.

"It causes a lot of headaches," said Dr. Scott Collins, Spine Surgeon with ORA Orthopedics. "It causes neck pain."

It's called "Text Neck."

"It's when your neck is flexed forward," explained Dr. Collins. "Everyone does it."

Your head weights 10-12 pounds, but Dr. Collins says nobody thinks of the consequences of constantly looking down at a screen.

"Your neck is normally curved backwards, so when you find yourself leaning forward what's going on is you're putting a lot of pressure on the disc and you're also putting a strain on your back," said Dr. Collins.

"The further you flex your neck, the more pressure you put on your neck," he added. "If you're leaning very far forward, you can end up with 60 pounds of weight on your neck. That's more than what we're designed to carry."

Dr. Collins said there are simple things you can do to prevent the effects of "Text Neck":

"The first thing is - put your device down," he explained. "The other thing you can do is you can roll your neck around or do certain exercises, but I think the most important thing is that you don't do it for along as you're doing it per day."

He also said you should switch up your screen time.

"Instead of doing little gadgets, go to a computer," Dr. Collins added. "Look straight ahead. Look down with your eyes instead of your neck. You can also just take the gadget and lift it up so you're looking at it in a direct manner."

"It's a small problem now, but it could be a long-term potentially huge program."