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Is your smartphone/device killing your neck?

Posted Nov 10th, 2017

Is your smartphone/device killing your neck?

Let’s be real for a minute here: lately more and more, we just can’t seem to put our phones down and disconnect from that handheld device. It’s what keeps us connected to the world, but it could very well be taking a toll on our necks …

Clinically termed “Text Neck”, an epidemic that is impacting millions and has grown into a critical global concern. A recent article published by Kenneth Hansraj in the National Library of Medicine explains further how chronic texters are putting the health of their necks at risk, but here are the quick details:

  • The resultant changes that may occur in the neck as a result of texting, included but are not limited to cervical spinal degeneration from repeated stress of frequent forward flexion (to look at phones), that can in severe cases result in:
    • Flattening of the spinal curve
    • Onset of early arthritis
    • Spinal misalignment
    • Disc herniation
    • Disc compression
    • Muscle damage
    • Nerve damage

It is important that we all understand the impact that our texting habits can have on our health, and what we can do about it.  

Text Neck, Motion Works Physiotherapy Stittsville, Stittsville Physiotherapist

Here are some tips to reduce the risk of developing these complications:

  1. Look at your device with your EYES, not your whole NECK. Try your best to keep that neck straight as your lower your eyes to the phone rather than dragging the neck along with it. The human head weight about 10-12 pounds, but we stay in forward bending that mass intensifies!
    1. 10 degrees forward is equal to added weight of 10-15 lbs.
  2. Never hold your position for more than 5 minutes. Try rolling your shoulders and looking over each shoulder to take a quick break.
  3. UNPLUG. The average person spends more than 3 hours communicating on their cellular device. Try putting that phone down.
  4. Share this information!  The population at greatest risk is our children/youth.  As technology remains and grows as a mainstay in our daily lives, these findings will only increase over the coming years and research studies. 

If you have more questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

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