turtle neck syndrome greater life chiropractic

What Is Turtle Neck Syndrome?

Many of us spend countless hours hunched over computers, tablets, and smartphones. This lifestyle shift has given rise to a host of postural issues, one of which is known as turtle neck syndrome – it evokes a funny image but is actually a serious problem for many practice members in Charlotte and other areas. Many people haven’t heard of this problem before they visit us, but it’s likely that it’s impacting your life in some way.

About Turtle Neck Syndrome

Turtle neck syndrome, also known as tech neck or text neck, is a condition characterized by a forward head posture, which can resemble a turtle sticking its neck out of its shell, hence the nickname. It occurs when the neck and shoulders are pushed forward and downward, typically due to prolonged use of electronic devices. When the head is tilted forward, the weight and strain on the cervical spine increase, leading to musculoskeletal problems.

Symptoms and Concerns

The symptoms of turtle neck syndrome can vary from mild to severe, depending on the timing and extent of the poor posture. Common symptoms include the following:

  • Neck pain and stiffness: The most obvious symptom, which is often exacerbated by prolonged device use.
  • Shoulder pain: Strain on the neck muscles can radiate into the shoulders, causing discomfort.
  • Headaches: Poor posture can lead to tension headaches due to increased muscle tension and strain on the neck.
  • Reduced mobility: Over time, the muscles and joints in the neck and shoulders can become stiff, limiting range of motion.
  • Numbness and tingling: Compression of nerves in the cervical spine can cause these sensations in the arms and hands.

Without proper care, turtle neck syndrome can lead to more severe conditions, like herniated discs, chronic neck pain, and even early-onset arthritis in the cervical spine.

Preventing and Managing Turtle Neck Syndrome

Preventing turtle neck syndrome involves adopting good posture habits and making ergonomic adjustments in your daily life. For many people who have developed poor habits, this is easier said than done. Some of the best ways to start are as follows:

  • When on a device, ensure it is at eye level and that your chair supports your lower back. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your shoulders relaxed when sitting at a desk.
  • Take breaks every 20-30 minutes to stand up, stretch, and move around. This helps to relieve the strain on your neck and shoulders.
  • Incorporate exercises that strengthen your neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles. Simple stretches and yoga poses can also be beneficial.
  • Be mindful of your posture throughout the day. Avoid hunching over devices and keep your head aligned with your spine.

Rely on Greater Life Chiropractic in Charlotte

A skilled Charlotte chiropractor can help you develop a personalized treatment plan, including targeted adjustments, that can help you reduce existing symptoms and better prevent future issues.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of turtle neck syndrome, don’t wait until the discomfort becomes too much. Contact Greater Life Chiropractic today to schedule an appointment with our team of experienced chiropractors like Dr. Grant Lisetor. Call us today to start returning to comfort!


Chu, E.C. “Preventing the progression of text neck in a young man: A case report.” Radiology Case Reports, 2022 Jan 18;17(3):978-982. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35106108/

Kang, J., Park, R., Lee, S., Kim, J., Yoon, S., Jung, K. “The Effect of The Forward Head Posture on Postural Balance in Long Time Computer Based Worker.” Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2012 Feb; 36(1): 98–104. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3309315/