Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day 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 neck. High school aged kids might be the worst. They conceivably spend an additional 5,000 hours in this position.
Poor posture from staring at our smartphones, also known as 'text neck', is damaging our spines according research. The research shows as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the neck 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. This force is equivalent to carrying an eight year old child on the back of your neck. Those who have done that know how uncomfortable that can be after a short time. According to the research these stresses can lead to early wear-and-tear on the neck, degeneration, and even surgery.
While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over.
Avoid "Text Neck" With These Tips
If you experience frequent and/or severe neck pain and loss of neck mobility from smartphone use, you may have already developed a mechanical neck problem that requires specific exercises and or manual therapy techniques to resolve. In this case contact my office for an evaluation. If you do not live in my area contact a clinician trained in MDT.
Hansraj, K. K. (2014). Research: Assessment of stresses in the cervical spine caused by posture of the head. Surgical Technology International, 1-3.
Physiotherapy.org.nz. (2014, November 24). How to avoid text neck. New Zealand.
Don Stover PT
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Thanks for visiting my blog page. My name is Don Stover. I am a seasoned physical therapist in Oklahoma City OK. with over 20 years in the biz. I have a lot of knowledge and training in orthopedic PT and spine care. I will be sharing my thoughts on physical therapy for orthopedic problems such as spinal pain, extremity joint pain, sports injuries, health/fitness, and life in general. I hope you enjoy reading!
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