Text Neck

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) issued a joint statement on January 10, 2015 that included a prediction for the future: “2015 will usher in a golden age of orthopedic surgery and chiropractic adjustments well into the foreseeable future. The incredible takeover by smartphones of every aspect of American communications, life even, means that crooked necks and bent backs will require all our skills to remediate so that we will have a citizenry of upright standing people, or standing upright people.”

Frederick M. Azar, MD, president of AAOS, said that the early days of cell phones when people walked streets oblivious, not looking for cars, trucks, bikes, or even other people was an initial boon with collisions providing an ever increasing number of patients with broken bones. “It was like they thought their phones created some kind of sci-fi force field that would protect them. However,” he said, “what we have now is a gift. No one walks upright. Heads are at a 45 -degree angle and as time passes they will stay that way. The amount of neck and spine work is going to be incredible.”

Chiropractors were even more effusive. “We will be able to treat people over and over again because there is no permanent fix for their self-imposed injuries,” said a spokesperson for ACA. Physical therapists and masseuses will also prosper from the collateral damage of smart phone use. “You know,” said physical therapist Jim Horn, “the phones may be smart, but the people using them aren’t. The harm they are doing to their necks and backs will be with them for a lifetime. My kids will go to college.”

“I wasn’t worried when my toddler started picking up my phone and mimicked the posture of adults. I thought it was cute,” said Anne Burnside. Then I started noticing that her head and neck were bent forward and she was walking funny, not funny ‘ha ha,’ but funny weird. Then I saw that her clothes around her neck went straight up, but her neck didn’t. But, thank goodness, Baby Gap will probably solve that problem.”

Glen K. Murphy, Chairman and CEO of Gap Inc., in a moment of candor usually unheard, said, “Ever since we have had to spend more money on wages and safety measures in our Bangladesh factories we have been looking for ways to increase our earnings. We’ve been aware of the structural effects of smart phones for a while. In the fall of 2015 we will be introducing new styles that compensate for what is known as text neck.

“We’re going to call the new style for adults FLEX!™, and for kids, FLEXINEXI™,” he said.

This is either work of satire or art. or both. Or neither.

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