Anyone over the age of 5 in today’s society is all too familiar with text messaging. Recent studies have shown that Americans are sending an average of 75 texts a day and overall we are spending an average of 5 hours a day on some kind of mobile device. You are probably thinking there’s no way I spend that much time on my phone. But the study also showed that people are generally spending twice as much time as they would estimate they are spending. Technology can be a great thing, it helps us stay connected in ways we never dreamed of, but unfortunately it can also have detrimental effects on your spine and your health. In fact recently so many people have been experiencing neck pain caused by using their phones that a new term “text neck” has been coined.
What causes it?
When you bend your neck to look down at your phone or IPad you are reversing the natural lordotic curvature of your cervical spine. Your cervical spine acts like a spring to support your head on top of the body and when you look down at your phone, the shift in the position of the weight of your head, puts abnormal stress on the cervical spine and causes it to change its shape. Although it will not cause any damage by looking down for a few minutes a day, doing it for hours a day, day after day, week after week, year after year actually changes the normal alignment of your spine and causes it to degenerate. This can lead to a large array of problems such as neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, tingling in your arms and hands, pinched nerve, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, arthritis etc.
Our bodies were not designed to live a stationary lifestyle, we were made to bend and move and stay active. When we put our bodies in the same stressful position day after day it begins to wear out and as a result it cannot function like it was intended.
How can you prevent/treat text neck and neck pain?
The first step is to be aware of your positioning and how much time you are spending on your phone. For the next couple of days make an extra effort to observe how much time you and your kids are spending on a phone, and the position of your head when you are using it. Once you are aware of it – change your position. Instead of holding your phone down by your waist, raise it up to eye level. If your kids are watching a show on your phone have them lay on their stomach and prop the phone up so that they are looking straight ahead while they are watching it. This will keep the neck in a relaxed neutral posture. The next step would be to have your spine and posture checked by a professional like the doctors at SpineCare Chiropractic. We have spent years training and treating people with the problems associated with poor posture and misalignment of the spine. Just like the old saying goes, “with great privilege comes great responsibility”, technology has made massive improvements on our day to day existence, but if we want to be around to enjoy those improvements we have to take care of the bodies we were given.
We invite you to be proactive with your health. Call SpineCare Chiropractic today at (919)460-4546 and set up a complimentary consultation and posture check for you and your family. There is no better gift you can give yourself then the gift of health!