What would you do if someone asked you to carry an eight year-old kid on your shoulders? If you like kids, you’d probably say yes and hoist the kid up there making a noise like an airplane (the kid would only be mildly impressed). But then what if that same person told you that you couldn’t put the kid down for hours. In fact, you had to carry them around for the entire day?
You’d probably dismiss the experiment as cruel and unusual, and immediately pluck the 60-pound kid off of your shoulders for good.
What you don’t realize is that when you walk around staring at your phone all day–sending texts, scrolling through Facebook, or responding to your friend’s comment on Instagram–it puts a 60 pound strain on your neck, shoulders, and spine.
Experts are calling it “text neck” and it’s becoming a serious health problem for our increasingly digital society.
The chiropractors at Marshalls Creek in East Stroudsburg are dedicated to helping people establish and maintain healthy lifestyles. That’s why we hope you’ll take time to read the rest of this blog post to learn more about ‘text neck’ and how to prevent it.
If you’re experiencing pain in your neck, shoulders, and spine for any reason, remember that the chiropractors at our office are available to help. Many of our patients say they experience relief in just a few adjustments, and we’d love to help you get rid of your pain as well.
Looking At Your Phone All The Time Is Terrible For Spinal Health
So why does texting (or any smartphone viewing, really) have such a profound and negative effect on your spinal health. The answer, according to expert chiropractors, is one part physics and one part longevity.
“The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds,” explains the Washington Post.
As if this weren’t bad enough, the sheer amount of time that we’re placing this added stress on our necks and spines has grown exponentially.
“Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts or checking social media sites. That’s 700 to 1,400 hours per year people are putting stress on their spines, according to the research.”
‘Text Neck’ Is Fast Becoming A Serious Epidemic
The cumulative effect on the spine is the equivalent of bending one of your fingers back as far as it can go, and holding there for hours at a time. Eventually, the tissues will start to stretch, become inflamed, and eventually become very sore. After not that much longer, you could suffer from muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated discs, and eventually, permanently alter the neck’s natural alignment. With 58 percent of all American adults owning their own smartphones (and many teenagers as well) it’s no surprise that chiropractors are calling ‘text neck’ a health epidemic.
Tips For Avoiding Smartphone-Induced Neck Pain
- When you want to look at something on your phone, look downward with your eyes rather than bending your neck. If this doesn’t work, consider raising the phone to your eye’s natural height as a way of preventing the “hunch” from taking hold.
- Take frequent breaks from your phone. When you’re at work or in public, it’s likely that each phone viewing session only lasts for a minute or two. But when you’re at home, comfortably tucked on the couch, these sessions can last for an hour, sometimes more. Remind yourself to look up from the phone, or place it somewhere you can hear it ring, but can’t reach for it mindlessly.
- Stand up straight. Good posture means standing with the shoulders pulled back comfortably. This aligns your neck and spine to their natural, neutral position, and prevents unnecessary strain.
- From time to time, arch your neck and upper back toward the wall behind you. This can ease muscle pain, and prevent stiffness and strain from setting in.
Visit Your Chiropractor In East Stroudsburg For Reliable Relief!
If you’ve been experiencing frequent headaches, pain your neck, or tension in your shoulders, it could be the symptoms of ‘text neck.’ Remember that relief is only a chiropractic appointment away. Using both chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic massage, the chiropractors at Marshalls Creek in East Stroudsburg can provide you with natural, medication-free relief. Call now!