Dr. Dean Fishman had his "ah-ha" moment talking to the mother of a young patient in his office in Plantation, Fla.
As the patient was sitting in the corner of the exam room, typing away on her phone with her head hung low and her body basically curled up into a ball, Fishman was giving her mother a clinical diagnosis. When he was explaining her daughters loss of a normal cervical curve the term just came out- "Text Neck".
"The patient's mother had a visceral reaction, sat up straight and started speaking very matter-of-factly about her daughters texting habits," said Fishman.
After determining a schedule of care for the patient that included exercises and changing the angle at which the patient viewed here phone he realized he was on to something.
"This patient was a great patient because the term text neck made sense to her."
He did case studies on 10 patients in his office, taking them through a care plan that included pre and post x-rays, digital muscle testing, and range-of-motion testing. The Text Neck Institute was born.
"I want to teach my patients to live with mobile technology," said Fishman.
In text neck has turned into a practice builder for Fishman, whose reported a 30% growth in his practice and well as developing a smartphone app to monitor his patients progress.
The $2.99 app (currently available in the Android Marketplace, an iPhone edition is coming soon) tracks the viewing angle of the phone and alerts the patient the angle is less than ideal. The app runs in the background as patients go about their daily tasks and alerts them regardless of the app they are currently running.