Teen gets diagnosed with 'text neck' - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Teen gets diagnosed with 'text neck'

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Teen gets diagnosed with 'text neck' (CNN) Teen gets diagnosed with 'text neck' (CNN)
(CNN) -

It is a physical ailment hitting the tech-savvy generation.

The ailment is called ‘Text Neck' and while it may sound silly, doctors said it could cause serious damage.

Sarah Atchison texts with the best of them, but looking down at her smart phone, often for hours at a time, left the 14-year-old with a pain in her neck.

"It was mostly just achy. And it made it really hard to concentrate,” Atchison said.

"Text neck is where the proper curve in the cervical spine actually gets reduced and can even move forward,” said Dr. Chad Cotter, of HealthSource Chiropractic.

A good curve is ideally 40 degree but her x-rays showed a different story.

"This should be shaped like the red line. But this girl has lost that neck curve and it has moved to a classic reverse curve or text neck,” Cotter said.

Cotter is helping Atchison reverse damage that used to take decades to develop.

"Tension across the shoulders, generalized neck pain, migraines. It can even be numbness and tingling down the arms that we're seeing in high schoolers,” he said. “It's alarming. It's setting those kids up to have major problems as adults. Kids don't know how to explain it to their parents. They don't know how to express it correctly. And so parents discount what their kids are saying until it becomes a big problem."

Doctors said when walking to make sure that you touch your heel and your toe together, and use head weights, shoulder exercises, and resistance bands.

Cotter, and his team work to strengthen Atchison's neck and back muscles and he said the treatments, if done properly, can quickly counteract the symptoms of smartphone use and alleviate texting tension.

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