A recent study shows that nearly 80% of the population between ages 18 to 44 keep cell phones with them almost every waking minute. Most estimates showing only having two hours a day without their phone in or near their hands. The stress of constantly looking down at a phone or device creates a dangerous condition known as “tech neck”. Body and spinal design do not come equipped with enduring the constant and sustained neck pressure. The need for chiropractic care continually grows as more people of all ages realize the imperative need to preserve the health and quality of life for both themselves and the next generation.

According to a 2017 study titled “Text Neck” published in the Spine Journal, spine surgeons noted a significant rise in the number of patients complaining of neck and upper back pain. Many of the patients were children. The research showed that “text neck” added extreme amounts of pressure and tension on the spine as the head position extended forward and downward to look at an electronic device. The average head weight on the neck amounts to between 10 to 12 pounds when resting in a neutral position. Any forward head flexion will add weight and pressure to the spine at varying degrees. Every 15 degrees of forward neck flexion adds between 9 and pounds of pressure on the spine. 60 degrees of forward flexion creates an extra 60 pounds of pressure on the spine. Neck flexion varies between 45 and 60 degrees when texting. A new diagnosis code called “text neck” has been established to categorize and address the damage incurred by common daily activities like using electronic devices.

A study of over 7000 young adults showed that persistent neck and upper back pain directly associates with time spent text messaging. Accelerated neck and mid-back spinal degeneration becomes a likely side effect of the forward head flexion often experienced through texting. The increase in disc pressure during flexion contributes to disc degeneration, disc herniations, and abnormal neck curve alignment.

Chiropractic remains one of the most important and effective proactive interventions needed to minimize and reverse the negative effects of texting. The spine’s intimate relationship with the central nervous system details why having text neck poses such a serious threat to the health of current and future generations. The nervous system becomes imbalanced when the spine changes from an optimal position and normal mobility. Stress and imbalance in the nervous system leads to a myriad of unwanted symptoms involving immunity, digestion, attention, energy, breathing, headaches, and heart problems. Chiropractors detect and correct spinal misalignments to remove stress from the nervous system and allow the spine and body to function like it should.

5 Simple Strategies to Prevent or Minimize the Effects of “Text Neck”

  1. Hold and view cell phones and all electronic devices at eye level.
  2. Text with two hands. Using both hands creates more symmetry and minimizes spinal imbalances.
  3. Take frequent breaks from phones and computers throughout the day to move.
  4. Utilize 20 second stretches – Pull arms and shoulders back while tilting head up to look up every hour.
  5. See a Chiropractor regularly.

The Spine Journal: Official Journal of the North American Spine Society June 2017
“’Text neck’: an epidemic of the modern era of cell phones. Jason M Cuellar, Todd H Lanman

Home Tech Usage at All-Time Highs

People continue to spend record-setting amounts of time in seated positions on technological devices. People spend unprecedented amounts of time on desktops, laptops, tablets and phones. Tech usage while positioned in lounge chairs, sofas, and living rooms paints a picture of the norm. The increased device usage creates added stress on postural and spinal health and leads to dangerous long-term outcomes.

The average postural position during smartphone usage consists of slumped shoulders and forty-five degrees of downward neck flexion. This position adds over forty pounds of stress and pressure on the spine and neck. Imagine a 40-pound weight resting on the back of the head and the strain being absorbed by small, delicate vertebrae and discs.

The additional stress on the spine and posture leads to a greater risk of postural health abnormalities. Researchers determined that seated posture massively impacts overall health and function. Sitting posture consists of hunched shoulders, forward head position, a rounded mid-back, and a forward-tilting pelvis. Poor posture causes more long-term damage than back aches.

Spine and postural health influence many aspects of overall well-being. Research reveals a crucial relationship between posture and heart and lung function. A ground-breaking study published in 2004 proved a relational connection between bad posture, atherosclerosis, and pulmonary disease. The study found a 44% higher risk of death in people categorized as the poorest level of posture. Most medical doctors remain unaware of this data and the significant role posture plays in the health and well-being of all ages of people.

Chiropractors passionately pursue educating the community to better understand the influence of regular Chiropractic adjustments on whole-body health. The issue of sedentary positioning mixed with poor posture began permeating school and work culture years ago yet takes on new emphasis during times when more people work and stay at home using technological devices. Chiropractors help infants, children, and parents achieve optimal health and function through better spinal and postural health. Science continues to build evidence-based research which proves healthy posture directly impacts healthy function.

Chiropractors focus on helping the public better understand the need to intentionally pursue ideal spinal hygiene and care. Adults and children alike benefit from a maximized defense against health-threatening posture problems. The entire family unlocks improved capacity for optimal performance and function by getting adjusted regularly to combat the ill effects of poor posture and extended technology use. People currently spend more time at home, but no limitations exist in the pursuit of elite health care.

Journal of American Geriatrics Society 2004
Hyperkyphotic Posture Predicts Mortality in Older Community-Dwelling Men and Women: A Prospective Study.”
Deborah M Kado, Mei-Hua Huang, Arun S Karlamangla, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Gail A Greendale