How you hold your phone can cause neck and back pain.

Did you know that how you hold your phone can cause neck and back pain? While you are reading this, have a think about your posture right now. Are you slumped in a chair or leaning over a table, with your head tilted forward & shoulders curved? If you are using a mobile device, you are probably even more stooped with your arms bent at your side. Am I right? This familiar posture is what has led to a new syndrome called “Text Neck” the term used to describe the neck pain & damage sustained from looking down at your cell phone, tablet, or devices too frequently. ⠀

Text Neck
With the advent of smart phones, tablets & computers becoming an extension of our bodies, our therapists are seeing more and more clients who are younger and younger with back pain, neck pain and chronic headaches.

So how does Text Neck occur and how can it be prevented?
The human head is a heavy object, & our neck and spine are designed to keep it up at a certain angle. In a study conducted by Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, it was found that when we hold our head in a healthy, neutral position, the forces to the cervical spine are about 10-12 pounds (4.5- 5.5 kgs). When we tilt our head down to look at our phone, it increases the pressure we put on our cervical spine as much as 60 pounds- 27 kgs 😮!⠀

Repetitive increases in stress of this nature may lead to all sorts of neck problems, including early wear and tear, degeneration, and possibly the need for surgery.⠀

What can you do about it?⠀
Hold your phone at eye level when typing on your phone. This may look funny, but it will force you to hold your head, neck, and shoulders in a better position. It also has a built-in time restricting feature, as you will notice that when you hold your phone at eye level, your shoulder muscles tire quickly and this will force you to only use your phone for short periods of time. Whereas when you sit & comfortably look down at your phone, you may be able to use your phone for long periods without experiencing any form of discomfort.⠀


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