Chiropractor Develops “Text Neck” App

courtesy Dean Fishman

A South Florida chiropractor continues to draw attention for his invention that helps people who constantly bury their heads in their cellphones.

Dean Fishman, a Weston resident who practices in Plantation, was featured in the Wall Street Journal’s “Aches and Claims” health column on May 24. The article noted that Fishman, who trademarked the term “Text Neck” in 2009, now has a patented phone app that warns users when they drop their head –  causing neck pain and headaches as well as early onset of arthritis, arm pain, gastrointestinal and breathing problems – as they view their phone.

Green Face – Red Face

The app works without interruption of other functions on the phone by having a green face, which is located in the top corner of the device, meaning users are viewing their phones with good posture; a red face means that they need to make an adjustment to “anatomical neutral,” which is defined as having the ears over the shoulders and the shoulders over the hips.

Fishman’s next step is to link up with a wearable activity tracker, such as FitBit or Under Amour’s Record.

According to Forrester Research more than 20 percent of the U.S. online adults use a wearable device. These devices have an app that it links to, which tracks and measures activities such as heart rate, sleep, steps and calories burned.

Activity Trackers

Fishman said he wants to embed his technology into the activity trackers app and add the measure of the amount of time in good posture versus bad posture while using a mobile device.

“That way the mobile device can not only give real-time feedback to the user so that they can improve and re-educate their posture, but also track the percentage of time in acceptable posture versus unacceptable posture,” he said. “Basically, it would add another measurable to track overall health. “

He says that posture is one of the most critical factors in obtaining peak performance.

“Simply put, without proper posture, one cannot be completely physically fit or healthy,” he said, adding that improved posture can help with prevention of injury and less down time from work and working out.

Head Tilt

Fishman said varying sources report Americans spend four to ten hours a day on entertainment media.

“This forward head tilting must be corrected in order to maximize physical performance.  It is widely understood that human performance is optimized with neutral alignment.  Subtle adjustments to one’s posture can help improve overall health,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal quoted cervical surgeons, physiotherapists and ergonomic experts not linked to Dr. Fishman, all of whom agreed that awareness of good posture is a vital piece of a person’s health.

Fishman has also spoken about Text Neck on local and national news programs and was featured on The Doctors television show. He also has received coverage in the Los Angeles Times, CNN, Fox News, the New York Daily News and by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Nick Sortal is semi-retired after 35 years as a newspaper writer and editor, with 30 of those years dedicated to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He spent the majority of his career as a community news writer and editor, delving into the issues and topics most newsworthy to local residents. He has a reputation for being fair – weighing every sides of an issue – and checked and re-checked information almost to the point of being annoying