Smart Phone Syndrome
Smart Phone Syndrome results from slouching over your phone for hours on end and it is causing neck damage and straining your back muscles. “Text Neck” is a phrase that a few Doctors of Chiropractic are starting to use more and more to describe the excessive stress on neck muscles. According to a study of young adults in the U.K., 84% of those tracked experienced back pain during the last year, mainly due to being hunched over smartphones, tablets, and computers.
According to Crawley Chiropractic Centre, improving your posture can relieve lower back pain, and limiting your phone use can alleviate neck strain. While it seems awkward, try to hold your phone directly out and in front of your face, not on your lap where you might need to look down for minutes at a time. Billions of people now walk around hunched over their smartphones and this presents lots of risks e.g car accidents, exposure to radiation from the phones, walking into things and of course Smart Phone Syndrome (SPS) or Text Neck!
Statistics show that the average person spends between 2-4 hours a day with their head tilted down looking at their smart phones and this amounts to 700-1400 hours per year which is actually nearly 2 months per year (58.33 days to be exact!!!). This is insane when you break it down in this way don’t you think? This doesn’t even include the additional countless hours that many billions of people spend slouching on a couch playing computer games on the xboxes and playstations etc…
The youngsters of today will already have damage to the spine and soft tissues due of these chronic poor postural habits which will obviously become bigger problems as they get older. Kids and young adults need Chiropractic care to help counteract the damaging effects of Smart Phone Syndrome. Why is SPS so damaging for the spine you may ask?
Imagine Your Head Weighing as Much as Several Bowling Balls!
Your head weighs about 10-12 pounds (approx weight of 1 light bowling ball) when its in the correct position – which is the neutral position with you ears over your shoulders. However if your head is bent forwards and down then the forces on the neck multiply dramatically. Research by spinal surgeon Kenneth Hansraj demonstrated the different levels of weight that forward bending of the neck causes on the spine:
Degree’s of Forward Bend:
- 15 Degree’s = 27lbs
- 30 Degree’s = 40lbs
- 45 Degree’s = 49lbs
- 60 Degree’s = 60lbs
A fairly heavy bowling ball is 15lbs. So imagine, just by bending your neck forwards by 45 Degree’s whilst texting or checking facebook, the weight of you of your head becomes the weight of 4 heavy bowling balls – 60lbs! I’m sure you can see that this is now a a major problem in modern society! Smart Phone Syndrome can result in loss of the natural curve in the cervical spine (neck) which will cause early spinal arthritis (wear and tear), disc injuries and many different symptoms including headaches, neck, shoulder and arm pain to name a few!
Tips to Prevent Smart Phone Syndrome
- When you text, raise your mobile up to ear level rather than hunching over
- Take Regular Technology breaks from your smart phones and tablets
- Call us to Book an Appointment so you can have your spine checked
- Do neck stretches and neck strengthening exercises (so you do not make the problem worse, only do neck stretches and strengthening exercises after you have had your spine checked by a Chiropractor)
If you know anybody who spends a long time texting, playing games on smart phones or tablets, do share this article with them as they quite possibly have Smart Phone Syndrome.
If we can be of any assistance then do give us a call today on 01293-511265
To Your Health, Wealth & Happiness,
Dr Danny Scahill DC