"People get so focused on these devices that they end up holding their neck and upper back in abnormal positions for a long period of time; enough that other people coined the phrase 'text neck,' which is essentially referring to postural pain," Chris Cornett, MD., orthopaedic surgeon and spine specialist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, said.
Text neck is defined as overuse syndrome involving the head, neck and shoulders, usually resulting from excessive strain on the spine from looking in a downward position at hand held devices such as cell phones, mp3 players, e-readers and computer tablets.
"When you hold your body in an abnormal position, it can increase stress on the muscles, cause fatigue, muscle spasms and even stress headaches," Cornett said.
"With every degree of motion to the front or side that you move your head, the stress on your neck is magnified beyond just the weight of the head," he said.
He added that what we assume, but do not necessarily know, is whether or not this is causing long term increased stress on the other structures in your neck, like discs and joints.