Why You Should Avoid “Text Neck”

Dallas Chiropractor Best Practices

Research Commentary;

 Avoid Text Neck!

Demonstration of central conduction time and neuroplastic changes after cervical lordosis rehabilitation in asymptomatic subjects: a randomized, placebo‑controlled trial

Ibrahim M. Moustafa1,2, Aliaa A. Diab2, Fatma Hegazy1 & Deed E. Harrison3*

Research Reviewed by Dr. Travis Downs

Avoid Text Neck!

Summarized Review Conclusions

Forward head posture or text neck as some people call it, is one of the biggest issues we see in our offices on a daily basis. This study shows that if you have a decreased curve in your neck, the signals from your brain to your body are being slowed down. This is important because the slower the signals are from your brain to your body and vice versa, the more symptoms you will start to feel as inflammation increases. Just think of it as though when the curve in your neck is decreased, it is like you are working with a dial up connection. If you had a curve in your neck, it is as if you are communicating with 5G. Make sure you come and get checked to see if you have a reverse curve and are operating at a lower speed. Below you will find direct quotes of the referenced article along with my synopses of the research query, methodology and findings including references used by the research authors.

“Disorders of the cervical spine are among the greatest contributors to spine pain, disability, and work loss worldwide1.”

Department of Physiotherapy, College of Health Sciences, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE

“Altered cervical spine curvatures are associated with cranio-cervical symptoms including: headache, migraine, radiculopathy, and myelopathy.”

Nagasawa, A., Sakakibara, T. & Takahashi, A. Roentgenographic findings of the cervical spine in tension-type headache. Headache 33, 90–95 (1993).

Vernon, H., Steiman, I. & Hagino, C. Cervicogenic dysfunction in muscle contraction headache and migraine: A descriptive study. J. Manipulative Physiol. Ther.

418–429 (1992). 15. Ferracini, G. N. et al. Analysis of the cranio-cervical curvatures in subjects with migraine with and without neck pain. Physiotherapy 103(4), 392–399 (2017).

Buell, T. J., Buchholz, A. L., Quinn, J. C., Shaffrey, C. I. & Smith, J. S. Importance of sagittal alignment of the cervical spine in the management of degenerative cervical myelopathy. Neurosurg. Clin. N. Am. 29(1), 69–82 (2018).

“Recently, FHP has been identified to be associated with altered cervical sensorimotor control and autonomic nervous system function. Thus, in addition to pain syndromes, abnormal cervical sagittal alignment appears to play a role in altered neurophysiological changes in somato-sensory processing and sensori-motor control.”

Moustafa, I. M., Youssef, A., Ahbouch, A., Tamim, M. & Harrison, D. E. Is forward head posture relevant to autonomic nervous system function and cervical sensorimotor control? Cross sectional study. Gait Posture 77, 29–35 (2020).

Moustafa, I. M., Youssef, A. S. A., Ahbouch, A. & Harrison, D. E. Demonstration of improved autonomic nervous system function and cervical sensorimotor control after cervical lordosis rehabilitation: A randomized controlled trial. J. Athl. Train 56(4), 427–436 (2021).

Introduction to the Research

There are a lot of fancy words in the title of this research article but it’s very simple to break down. Basically, if we don’t have a proper curve in our neck which is about 30 degrees at a minimum, we will have decreased communication between our brain and our body. That connection is everything when it comes to our body. When the cervical curve is decreased, and the signal is delayed we will start to have symptoms like headache, migraines, radiculopathy, and myelopathy. The solution is easy when we look at this research.  It is vital to make sure you are getting adjusted and making sure you are correcting the curve by using the Denner Roll.

Research Methodology

A prospective, investigator-blinded, parallel-group, randomized clinical trial was performed at the clinical research facility of our university. This trial was registered with the Pan African Clinical Trial Registry (PACTR201703002068409 dated 02/03/2017). Participant recruitment began following approval from the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University. Informed consents were provided to and obtained from all participants and/or their legal guardians prior to data collection in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations. Participants were collected as a convenience sample of asymptomatic university attendees and friends and family members of patients attending the outpatient clinics at our university.

Research Findings

We identified a reduced cervical lordosis and anterior head translation is associated with differences in neural activity at several regions (cortical and subcortical) of the somatosensory system. Restoration of the cervical sagittal alignment, in terms of cervical lordosis and anterior head translation, has a direct influence on the central conduction time. Clinical interventions directed at improving central processing through restoring the normal sagittal alignment could be added to clinical interventions targeting specific spinal disorders.

Research References

As always with these reviews, these are my takeaways from the article and I encourage you to read the article in its entirety.  The references used in this article by the authors of this article are listed here.

Our Message

At our McKinney location, located near the corner of Eldorado Pkwy. and Ridge Rd., we are here to help you get out of pain! Our Chiropractors will relieve your pain through Chiropractic adjustments and teaching the proper form for  exercises. We also look at nutrition to make sure you are getting the proper nutrients while helping you manage stress to give your body the best fighting chance against pain and disease! So remember, Move Better to Avoid Text Neck!