Smartphones optimize our lives while hurting our spines
Smartphones have become the predominant tool of modern life. While its ability to streamline hundreds of functions into a pocket-sized computer is admirable, it is also causing grief for our spine. The subconscious posture that many of us adopt when using our phones is dangerous when combined with frequent usage. Studies have estimated that teens spend up to 2-4 hours on their phone per day, which may help explain why spinal degeneration is affecting younger demographics more than in the past. Smartphones indulge us instantly and satisfy our ever-curious minds, but it is worth asking if that comes with a price.
What is your smartphone doing to your neck?
The short answer: nothing good. When we interact with something like a phone, or a book to use a more classic example, our heads tend to get drawn forward, resulting in what is known as forward head posture. When your head is balanced atop your spine with good posture, it’s relative weight burden to the spine is between 10 and 12 pounds. Every inch you hold your head forward magnifies the weight of your head in relation to your spine. At 60 degrees forward, the head weighs 6 times as much as it does at neutral posture.
- Pain and stiffness in the neck
- Referred pain to the head results in tension headaches
- Shortness of breath
- Premature and accelerated spinal degeneration
This is just a start. The consequences of maintaining text neck for hours a day add up and compound the longer you let it go. A good place to start is to review your posture when using the phone. If possible, bring your screen up to eye level rather than craning your neck down to look at the device in your lap. If you must look down, only look with your eyes rather than your whole head. Finally, try to limit the amount of time you spend on your device each day.
Addressing text neck with chiropractic
At our office in Ramsey, we provide our patients with the expertise and awareness they need to overcome text neck. Because smart phones, tablets and other computers are unavoidable part of modern life, we need to take care when interacting with them to limit the toll they take on our bodies. From postural analysis and education, to strengthening the right muscles for supporting your spine, we are Ramsey’s go-to resource for spinal health. If your spine is suffering symptoms of pain related to text neck, we provide you with gentle hands-on modalities that correct the problem before it compounds. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today.