Text neck and neck pain in 18–21-year-old young adults



The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is an association between text neck and neck pain in young adults.


Observational cross-sectional study with 150 18–21-year-old young adults from a public high school in the state of Rio de Janeiro was performed. In the self-report questionnaire, the participants answered questions on sociodemographic factors, anthropometric factors, time spent texting or playing on a mobile phone, visual impairments, and concern with the body posture. The neck posture was assessed by participants’ self-perception and physiotherapists’ judgment during a mobile phone texting message task. The Young Spine Questionnaire was used to evaluate the neck pain. Four multivariate logistic regression models were fitted to investigate the association between neck posture during mobile phone texting and neck pain, considering potential confounding factors.


There is no association between neck posture, assessed by self-perception, and neck pain (OR = 1.66, p = 0.29), nor between neck posture, assessed by physiotherapists’ judgment, and neck pain (OR = 1.23, p = 0.61). There was also no association between neck posture, assessed by self-perception, and frequency of neck pain (OR = 2.19, p = 0.09), nor between neck posture, assessed by physiotherapists’ judgment, and frequency of neck pain (OR = 1.17, p = 0.68).


This study did not show an association between text neck and neck pain in 18–21-year-old young adults. The findings challenge the belief that neck posture during mobile phone texting is associated to the growing prevalence of neck pain.

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The authors thank Carlos Vicente Rodrigues for drawing the figures of postures.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ney Meziat-Filho.

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Research involving human participants and/or animals

The Institutional Ethics Committee at the Augusto Motta University Centre approved this study before execution (CAAE 55790816.6.0000.5235).

Informed consent

All the participants were informed of the objectives and procedures of the study and signed a written informed consent form prior to enrolment, including explicit consent to use their image.

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Damasceno, G.M., Ferreira, A.S., Nogueira, L.A.C. et al. Text neck and neck pain in 18–21-year-old young adults. Eur Spine J 27, 1249–1254 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-017-5444-5

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  • Neck pain
  • Cervical pain
  • Mobile phone