The next time you find yourself waiting around, perhaps at the doctor’s or in the post-office queue, take a look around. You’ll soon spot a rather painful trend.
Within 60 seconds, out comes the smartphone and down goes the head; people are literally bent double catching up on social media, checking emails, or making a quick on-line purchase.
This poor-posture, often referred to as ‘text neck’ is causing medical professionals around the world to warn of early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery.
It’s a physical issue patients at Life Chiropractic are frequently presenting, with appointments caused by neck pain, muscle strain, headaches and stress becoming more and more frequent. “Text-neck symptoms are reaching epidemic numbers”, says Life Chiropractic Practitioner Tom Pooley. “We are seeing more and more patients with muscle strain, pinched nerves and even herniated disks. It’s not hard to see why. Everyone has their head down.”
Studies show smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading emails, 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 published by Kenneth Hansraj in the National Library of Medicine. Worse still its school children who might be most at risk and require chiropractic adjustment. According to the findings of Hansraj’s report, they could potentially be spending an additional 5,000 hours in this hunched neck position.
Why is it so important that we improve our smart phone posture?
Get ready, here comes the science bit! Did you know that the human head, when upright, weighs approximately 12 pounds? But beware, as the neck bends forwards into the infamous text neck position that increases, and so does the weight on the cervical spine. At a 15-degree angle the weight is around 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds. Alarmingly at 60 degrees the head weighs a staggering 60 pounds. OK, now let’s put some real world perspective on that…
If you have an average sized 8-year old handy, ask them to step onto the scales. You’ll soon see that 60 pounds equates to their body weight. Could you carry them around on your neck for any length of time without suffering extreme neck pain, headaches and muscle strain? No, probably not.
Time to improve your posture to protect your neck from future damage
“Smart phone usage is a fact of life, and putting away the touch screen is not a realistic answer to correcting patient’s neck strain problems”, says Tom. “Our role as a trusted family chiropractors is to correct posture, and educate patients alongside the hands on chiropractic adjustment treatment we provide. Improved posture is the first step in defeating text neck, and will safeguard younger generations from long term spinal damage.”
If you’ve a pain in the neck that simply won’t budge, it’s about time you visited us.
Call today to arrange an appointment or visit our website to book online.
First time patient? For a limited time only our initial consultation see is just £19.
Statistics taken from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/11/20/text-neck-is-…