Text Neck Syndrome in Children and Adolescents

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Feb 7;18(4):1565. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18041565.


Neck pain is a prevalent health problem, largely reported in adult patients. However, very recent data show that new technologies are inducing a shift in the prevalence of this relevant issue from adulthood to all of the pediatric ages. In fact, the precocious and inappropriate use of personal computers and especially cell phones might be related to the development of a complex cluster of clinical symptoms commonly defined as "text neck syndrome". The purpose of this article is to analyze the new phenomenon of the "text neck syndrome", the underlying causes and risk factors of musculoskeletal pain, that can be modified by changes in routine life, in different cultures and habits, and on the "text neck syndrome" as increased stresses on the cervical spine, that can lead to cervical degeneration along with other developmental, medical, psychological, and social complications. Findings support the contention that an appropriate approach for an early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to properly evaluate this emerging issue worldwide in children and adolescents who spend a lot of time watching smartphones and computers; additional research with more rigorous study designs and objective measures of musculoskeletal pain are needed to confirm significant relationships. Existing evidence is limited by non-objective measures and the subjective nature of musculoskeletal pain.

Keywords: children and adolescent health; mobile phone; musculoskeletal pain; neck pain; technology addiction; text neck syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cell Phone*
  • Child
  • Computers
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Pain*
  • Neck Pain / epidemiology
  • Neck Pain / etiology
  • Text Messaging*