Mercy Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Joseph Ciotola Discusses “Texting Neck”

February 2, 2015
Orthopedics and Joint Replacement at Mercy - Baltimore

Looking down to read a book or use a laptop for hours at a time can lead to a sore neck and spinal pain, and a recent study claims using a smartphone can do the same.

"Texting neck" is the term doctors use to describe what can happen from holding your head down while texting for long periods of time, according to the journal, Surgical Technology International. Researchers said it can put extra stress on the neck and spine.

According to Mercy orthopedic surgeon Dr. Joseph Ciotola of Orthopedics and Joint Replacement at Mercy that could lead to problems.

"When you're flexed down, the ligaments and the muscles on the back of the neck feel a lot more strain. It puts more pressure on the discs between the vertebral bodies as well, so over time -- chronically, you can imagine, like anything else -- it will cause some wear and tear," Dr. Ciotola said.

To prevent texting neck and spine problems, Dr. Ciotola recommends avoid looking down for too long without taking a break, and try to maintain good posture. Yoga and Pilates can often help.

View Dr. Ciotola’s interview regarding “texting neck” and neck pain.

Dan Collins - Senior Director of Media Relations at Mercy Medical Center

Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations

Email: Office: 410-332-9714 Cell: 410-375-7342

About Mercy

Founded in 1874, Mercy Medical Center is a university-affiliated medical facility named one of the top 100 hospitals in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters with a national reputation for women’s health. Mercy is home to the nationally acclaimed Weinberg Center for Women’s Health and Medicine as well as the $400+ million, 20-story Mary Catherine Bunting Center. For more information visit Mercy online at, Facebook, Twitter or call 1-800-MD-MERCY.

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