Chronic smartphone usage in Canada has chiropractors worried about a condition called text neck

Chiropractors in Ontario are starting to warn patients about a condition called ‘text neck.’ Caused when a smartphone user repeatedly tilts their neck to look at their device, text neck can lead to a number of health issues, including chronic pain.

“It can lead to pain and chronic tissue tightness,” said Krista Revenberg, a chiropractor interviewed by the CBC. “The biggest thing is that a lot of people don’t even notice it’s happening.”

With smartphone usage at an all-time high in Canada, Revenberg has seen the condition increase across all age groups, though it became especially prevalent during the recent Pokémon Go craze that hit Canada this past July. Each time a person tilts their head to look at their smartphone, some 30 kilograms of pressure is applied to the spine.

Like computer eye strain, a few simple precautions can help prevent the worse side effects. Take frequent breaks from looking at your smartphone, follow the 20-20-20 rule (look 20 feet ahead for 20 seconds every 20 minutes you use your smartphone), and stretch.