Preventing the progression of text neck in a young man: A case report

Radiol Case Rep. 2022 Jan 18;17(3):978-982. doi: 10.1016/j.radcr.2021.12.053. eCollection 2022 Mar.


Text neck describes an overuse injury of the cervical spine resulting from the repetitive stress of prolonged forward head flexion while looking down on a mobile screen. This case report describes a 24-year-old young man who presented with a 12-month history of head and neck pain and paresthesia of the right upper limb. The patient worked as a YouTuber and has been editing and posting videos on the website for three years. One year prior to referral for chiropractic assessment, the patient first visited his family physician for similar complaints. Based on cervical radiographs, the diagnosis of cervical spondylosis was given. Previous management included pain medication and muscle relaxants. Interventions included repeated physical therapy, cervical traction, and acupuncture, with some temporary relief during the subsequent year. However, severe flare-up of the symptoms occurred, which was brought about by working for extended periods on his smartphone, for which the patient sought chiropractic attention. X-ray imaging showed cervical kyphosis with C5 vertebral rotation, hypertonicity of the paraspinal muscles, and paresthesia in the right C6 dermatome distribution, which were consistent with text neck syndrome associated with cervical spondylosis and right C6 radiculopathy. The intervention consisted of improving posture while texting, cervical manipulation, and extension traction therapy. After 9 months of treatment sessions, the symptomatic and functional improvement was reflected by the radiographic changes in the cervical curve correction and the normalized paraspinal muscle tension on surface electromyology. Frequent breaks along with correct posture while using smartphones will be the key entities to prevent the occurrence of text neck syndrome.

Keywords: Cervical radiculopathy; Cervical spondylosis; Chiropractic manipulation; Surface electromyology; Text neck.

Publication types

  • Case Reports