Well, it is official and in case you haven’t heard texting on your phone can cause injuries. Text neck has now even been touted as an “epidemic” and it certainly could be the case. We often see patients with a significant forward head posture and degeneration of the neck, but this takes usually 4-5 decades to come about. Along with this degeneration can be pain, stiffness, radiating pain and headaches just to name a few.
Now it is time for everybody’s favorite…MATH! Better yet, it’s done for you, but have a look at the numbers to see what damage is being done:
- Average Head Weight: 10-12 pounds
- Looking down at a 15-degree angle and now you have 27 pounds of load through the neck
- Finally at 60 degrees (where most people are when on a phone) and it is equal to 60 pounds that the neck has to support
To put this in perspective the average 3rd-grade kid weighs about 60 pounds. The real question now becomes who wants to walk around with a 3rd grader around their neck for 2-4 hours per day which is how long people are spending on their smartphones. Yes, that means for those of you who are only on your phone for 10 minutes, that there are others with that 3rd grader around their neck for almost 8 hours each day. You can start to see how the posture changes and breakdown of the neck can occur rather quickly.
By no means do we expect you to completely give up your smartphones, but where you must start to be much more aware your posture when you are using them. For every bit you hold it up higher you are taking pounds of stress off of your neck and certainly causing less breakdown. Take a look next time you are around a bunch of people and take now how many have their heads down in their phone. Maybe you could even help them out and have them look up to avoid coming to see your local physical therapist.
At the very least make sure to look up often, tilt and turn your head from side to side and do some chin tucks. All of these work opposite to the movement you will be in on a smartphone and will help to balance out the pressures on the neck and hopefully avoid any breakdown and reduce your risk of injury.
For those of you who are looking for a little more info on preventing neck pain then check out our Free Neck Pain Video Course. Through the course and following the steps above you will be well on your way to keeping away neck pain and avoiding future headaches.
If you are ready to get started right away then do not hesitate to give a call at 610-841-3555 and get started on the path to healing right away.
That’s all for now! Feel free to post any questions in the comments section below and if you sign up for a course you will be able to get to stay on top of all things Robbins Rehab!