Got 'text neck'? Doctors see technology exacting a toll on bodies of adults - and kids


    Can texting be a literal pain in the neck?

    ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Texting on your phone or typing on the computer, it can all be a pain in the neck - literally.

    It's a real ailment called "text neck."

    Doctors say the reason is that the average person spends more than eight hours a day on some type of electronic device.

    Krista Aycock is one of those people. She works the front desk for Williams Family Dentistry in Fletcher, greeting patients and filing data.

    "A lot of computer, phone, texting, emailing -- things like that," Aycock said.

    Over the years, it's started to take a toll on her body.

    "My lower back is always the number one," she said.

    So to alleviate some of that pressure she started going to WNC Chiropractic in Asheville.

    "Neck pain and back pain are by far our biggest draws, I think, just because usually people associate that with chiropractic," said chiropractor Jennifer Slechter.

    Slechter said Aycock's not alone.

    She said she sees several patients just like her every day who all show signs of an ailment known as "text neck."

    "It's usually the wear and tear of sitting at computers for long periods of time. Our lives are dominated by technology, so even if you're not sitting in front of your computer for work you're still on a tablet, or computer, at home or your phone and this, like constant down, really does start to wear on the body," Slechter added.

    It's not just adults experiencing this. It's kids, too.

    "From an incredible early age, we are hooked into technology," said Slechter.

    A report issued by Common Sense Media found that 50 percent of teens feel addicted to mobile devices.

    "I have middle-schoolers with neck pain and headache, because they're at school all day and they're sitting with bad posture. Then they're home doing homework, so they're either looking at books or on a lot of tablets or computers, at this point," added Slechter.

    So is there anything you can do to prevent this?

    Slechter says yes, but it's not a quick fix. It takes work, and muscle memory.

    "We have to, on a daily basis, try to break those habits," Slechter added.

    She says the most important thing you can do is be active, stretch, apply heat or ice and limit your screen time.

    Something physical therapist Thomas Minton echoes.

    "Increasing movement is definitely correlated with improved longevity and health, and just wellbeing in general," said Minton.

    He's been a physical therapist for 23 years now, and says he has seen it all.

    "Neck pain is one of those things that's become so common that we almost think it's a normal part of living," added Minton.

    If things get worse after making adjustments to your daily routine, it's best to see a specialist like Minton or Slechter.

    That's exactly what Krista Aycock does and will continue to do because fixing her pain is something she's determined to do.

    "I try as best I can to have good posture. Not necessarily crossing my legs as much at work, (and) try to keep both my feet flat on the floor," Aycock said.


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