New Study: Could Texting be Ruining your Spine?
Photo by Moses Vega on Unsplash
It’s becoming a well-known fact that texting can ruin your posture and ultimately take a toll on your body. Spinal doctor Kenneth Hansraj recently published a paper in the journal Surgery Technology International about the hunched-over position we often take while texting. According to his research, it’s adding an extra 60 pounds of weight to our spines.
“An adult head weighs 10 to 12 pounds in the neutral position,” stated Hansraj. “As the head tilts forward, the forces seen by the neck surges to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees.”
What’s more, after spending too much time in this position, your back and neck muscles could deteriorate to the point of needing surgery. Also, fixing your posture is a quick and easy way to relieve stress at work.
Text Neck is a real thing
Dr. Dean Fishman coined the term “Text neck” after physical therapists saw a large surge in patients who were complaining of headaches, neck cricks and achy shoulders and found the cause of the problem to be too much phone usage.
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According to Dr. Tom DiAngelis, president of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Private Practice Section, “All that extra pressure puts a strain on your spine and can pull it out of alignment.” He compares the position to bending your finger all the way back and holding it there for an hour. The long term effects of this “forward head posture” can lead to “muscle strain, disc herniation’s and pinched nerves. Over time, it can even flatten or reverse the natural curve of your neck.”
Dr. Michelle Collie, director of Performance Physical Therapy in Rhode Island says the first step in fixing your posture is to be aware of your body – keep your feet flat on the floor, keep your ears directly over them so your head isn’t tilted forward. “You may also want to start using a docking station and wrist guards to support the weight of your mobile device.”
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