Natural Balance Osteopathy & Wellness
|Posted on August 19, 2015 at 2:35 PM|
On average, people spend two hours and 57 minutes of their day on their smartphones and 94.6 minutes of their day texting -- an exorbitant amount of time that could potentially be taking a toll on their health. Specifically, doctors have started observing neck problems in teens who are compulsive texters.
The condition -- which is being called "text neck" by medical specialists -- is essentially caused by excessive strain on an individual's cervical spine from the prolonged head tilting. Apart from altering your neck's natural curve, text neck can result in muscle strain, pinched nerves and herniated disks.
Researchers explained the problem in the journal Surgical Technology International, stating that tilting a head 15 degrees from a neutral state adds 27 pounds of stress on the cervical spine and the muscles supporting it. With each increasing degree of tilt, there is more force applied to the spine, which will eventually begin to degenerate.
"When your head tilts forward, you're loading the front of the disks," says Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, study author and chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, to The Orlando Sentinel. "When you're eccentrically loading the spine, you're going to get cracks in the disks, slipped disks or herniated disks. This leads to stenosis or blockage of the spine."
As troublesome as this news may be, there's no reason to stop texting altogether (as if!). Hansraj recommends users keep their head up and make sure their mobile devices are in their line of vision. In an interview with TODAY, he adds that exercising (moving your head left to right) can also be beneficial.
“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,” concludes the research, reports The Washington Post.