The Dangers of Texting

Modern day technology is having a negative effect on our spine and body mechanics. Think back to 10 years ago, cell phone usage wasn’t anywhere near what it is today. Only half or maybe a third of high school students even had a cell phone back when texting was limited to about 200 per month. Nowadays, however, it seems the average age to receive your first smart phone is around 10 years old. Below are some details about the bad cell phone habits the doctors at Optimal Chiropractic see with many patients.Notice the position many people develop when texting, gaming, or surfing on their cell phone. It is rare to see a person sitting up straight, shoulders back and eyes forward with their arms up to eye level using their phone. The typical posture we see is a person bent or hunched over looking down with the phone at the waist. Business insider reports from 2013 stated smartphone users age 18-24 send an average of 67 texts each day, and around 2,022 texts per month. Not including texts received, which is around 1,831.Girl texting on phoneText neck is a common term used to describe the strain caused to the cervical spine from cell phone usage. The head is constantly in a state of forward posture, which chiropractors describe as anterior head carriage. The human head weighs around 10-12 pounds in the average adult. However, as the neck is bent forward and down, the weight held by the cervical spine begins to increase due to the weight of gravity pushing down. Studies have shown every inch of anterior head carriage adds 10lbs to the weight of the head, increasing the pressure on the cervical spine.Forward head carriage and upper back hunching can lead to a number of issues including headache, reduced lung capacity, muscle weakness and shortening, neck pain, neurological issues, dizziness, and even depression. At Optimal Chiropractic, we recommend changing your posture when using your smartphone and other devices. Bring the device up to your eye level, rather than bending down toward it. Use a special case or stand to hold up devices such as a tablet or reading materials. Last, but not least, perform exercises throughout the day to improve posture and strengthen the muscles deep within the neck.If you are interested in learning more about what you can do to improve your posture and overall quality of life, give our office a call. We would love to see you and your family to help you achieve your optimal health and wellness goals.