Macmillan Dictionary buzzword site defines text neck as:

damage to the neck muscles and spine caused by frequently bending over a smartphone, tablet device, etc for long periods of time

and cites an article which suggests that the expression was already in use by 2014:

'A newly coined condition – text neck – reveals that slumping over your mobile phone for hours on end heaps so much pressure on your spine, that we're giving ourselves long-lasting back problems.'

The Irish News 10th December 2014

Google Books shows earlier usages but with a lot of false positives.

Given its recent coinage, can anyone pin down a more exact date and possibly by whom the expression was coined?

  • 2
    I have also encountered a good term for the posture that causes it: "the i-hunch." Apr 13, 2022 at 22:28

1 Answer 1


Regarding who coined the term:

Dr. Dean Fishman is a Chiropractor in Plantation Florida, and a leading health care provider for technology induced injuries. Dr. Fishman originated the phrase 'Text Neck' to explain the repeated stress injury to the body caused by excessive texting and overuse of all handheld electronic devices. The term, and the health condition, is derived from the onset of cervical spinal degeneration resulting from the repeated stress of frequent forward head flexion while looking down at the screens of mobile devices and 'texting' for long periods of time.

(From text-neck.com)

Regarding when it was coined, I haven't been able to find an exact date, but Dr. Dean Fishman originally coined the term after examining an X-ray of a 17-year-old patient’s neck in 2008:

“Text Neck is not just a texting problem,” said Dr. Dean Fishman. “Text neck is a gaming problem. Text neck is an e-mailing problem.” Fishman originally coined the term in 2008 while examining a 17-year-old patient.

(From a CNN article: Your smartphone is a pain in the neck, 2012)

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