Heads up! Is texting ruining your neck?



Have you noticed when you look around everyone seems to be sitting hunched over smart phones?


Little kids fixated, hunched over Ipads? So if hunching over a phone isn’t dangerous enough by increasing car accidents, exposing you to electromagnetic fields and you possibly walking into a lamp post, add one more thing onto you list, text-neck!


A New York surgeon Kenneth Hansraj has recently published a study looking at this!


The weight placed on the spine dramatically increases when flexing your head forward. Loss of the natural curve of the neck leads to incrementally increased stresses on the cervical spine. These stresses may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries.


Imagine your head was a bowling ball! Our head weighs about 12 pounds. Imagine you were holding a bowling bowl with your elbows bent so it is balanced on your hands, not too much extra wok right? Now imagine you stretched your hands out and had to keep holding on to the bowling ball? I feel tired just thinking about that!!


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In his study, Dr. Hansraj determined that, when you bend your head forward at 15 degrees, its weight effectively increases from 12 pounds to 27 pounds. At 45 degrees, your head exerts 49 pounds of force, and at 60 degrees, 60 pounds – this is like carrying an eight year-old child around on your neck for several hours a day!


Others claim that the pressure on your spine doubles with every inch of head tilt. In 2013, some 1.91 trillion text messages were sent in the US, according to CTIA, The Wireless Association. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over their devices, which amounts to 700 to 1,400 hours per year that they are exerting this stress on their spines.


According to this study text neck may be associated with early wear and tear, muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated discs and abnormal neck curves.


Forward head posture has also been associated with headaches, neurological problems and heart disease! Another study said it was associated with a 30% reduction in lung capacity, depression, digestive issues and decreased libido! Scary huh?


So now you ask, “what can I do?” The best thing that has been found to help with the effects of hunching forward is hold your phone in a more upright position, spend a little less time on you phone and get up and go for short intermittent walks to give your neck some movement and a regular break!


Chiropractors are spine and posture experts. We pride ourselves in locating and correcting misalignments in the neck and spine, improving your posture, movement and nerve function! Regular Chiropractic care is as important to your health as eating well, exercising and getting a good night rest!


So what will you do this month to avoid the effects of text-neck?