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Missy Broome

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Texting May Be Causing Serious Damage To Your Spine

When a person bends their neck forward and down, it begins putting pressure on the cervical spine. The human head, when in upright position is about twelve pounds; however when bending head to look at something like a smartphone, weight pressure increases. The increase ranges from the twelve pounds when upright to about 27 pounds at a 15 degree angle, to 40 pounds at 30 degree angle to almost 60 pounds at a 60 degree angle. This posture, over time will lead to what is being called ‘text neck’. This story was passed on to me by Vijay Eswaran.
This is a common posture when staring at a smartphone, and millions are doing it every day. Research done on the stresses in the cervical spine say this posture can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine. This stress can lead to degeneration and could even require surgery. Researchers are calling it an epidemic due to how common it is becoming. If you look around you will see how many people have their heads down to perform some function on their smartphones, mostly texting.
To compare how much pressure the 60 degree angle causes to your spine, imagine having an eight year old child around your neck. The average person spends two to four hours per day bending their head to read email, text or to check their social media sites. When this time is added up’ it’s 700 to 1400 hours per year they are applying stress to their spines.
Some medical experts have been warning people for years that for every inch they tilt their head forward, they double the pressure on their spine. A comparison to this bend would be to bend your finger all the way back and hold it in that position for about an hour.
Not only is the concern to the spine; but it can also lead to reduced lung capacity, headaches, depression, heart disease and neurological issues.
It would be almost impossible to reverse the technology devices now being used; however we do need to change the way we look at them. People need to look at their phones with a more neutral spine.

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