Techitis: Are You At Risk?

Techitis: Are You At Risk?

man holding phone

A common cause of Techitis – texting.

Techitis is a fairly new diagnosis term used to describe neck pain caused by the constant use of portable electronic devices. Neck pain has become a common complaint among working adults. In 2012, neck pain ranked the third highest in self-reported musculoskeletal pain in the United States. One of the reasons neck pain is becoming more common is due to the technology boom. Everyone and I mean everyone, even the 2 year old in the grocery cart, is attached to a device. Unfortunately this is causing major problems to alignment, posture and to the health of our neck. This constant use of portable electronic devices has led to diagnosis terms such as “text neck” and “techitis”. This is the accelerated aging process of the spine, discs, muscles and other tissues of the neck which cause pain and dysfunction.

Your neck is made to be flexible and to support the weight of your head. The average human head weighs approximately 10 lbs. However, this flexibility leaves your neck susceptible to abnormal stress and strain. The most common abnormal stress is forward head posture. Normal alignment from the side is demonstrated by your ear aligning with your shoulder. Someone with forward head posture has their head in front of their shoulder. This shift in the head forward has a huge effect on the forces acting on the neck. The neck is no longer just supporting the 10 lbs., but with the shift forward the forces increase exponentially. The farther forward the shift, the more stress put on the neck. Someone with forward head posture requires the neck to support forces of 40, 50 and possibly more then 60 lbs of weight! Now you know why neck pain is so common and it’s even becoming routine among kids.


Not only is neck pain common, but joint and back pain are among the most debilitating types of chronic pain that people experience today. According to Tuhina Neogi, MD, PhD, FRCPC from the International Association for the Study of Pain, “musculoskeletal pain, especially joint and back pain, is the most common type of chronic pain. The most common cause of joint pain is related to arthritis, of which there are numerous types. Patients routinely
seek medical attention for joint pain, and it is one of the leading causes of disability.”

5 ways to prevent forward head posture and neck pain

  • While on your smart phone or tablet, hold the device up so that you don’t have to flex your head forward and down.
  • While working on a desk top computer, make sure you head is in a neutral position while looking at the screen. The most common issue is that the screen is too low. Also be aware of your posture while working and looking at the screen. There is a tendency to lean forward and cause forward head posture.
  • If you work on a laptop for extended periods of time, consider getting a wireless mouse and keyboard and elevate the laptop to prevent forward head posture.
  • While sleeping on your back, get a good pillow that will support the natural curvature of the spine. Don’t sleep with your head propped up with multiple pillows.
  • While driving, keep your head against the head rest. This is also a great time to do head retraction exercises which will help prevent forward head posture.

For more tips on good posture click here

At Living Health Integrative Medicine, we use a combination of techniques and exercises to correct and prevent forward head posture and neck pain. We perform precise, gentle and effective, chiropractic adjustments, postural exercises and spinal traction therapy to align your spine and eliminate neck pain.

Pick up the phone and give us a call at 410-216-9180. Let us help you end your forward head posture and neck pain today!