Smart phones. Tablets. Texting. Social Media.
Most of us, me included, are hooked on our smart phones and multi-media devices.
This is a big problem. Why?
Because of the constant bending of the neck.
It may seem like this constant bending of the neck is no big deal because in most cases people don’t feel neck pain from texting.
However, what is actually happening is premature aging and wearing down of the spine and discs. This is called degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis.
And in a majority of cases, you will not feel pain while the spine is wearing down and degenerating.
However… fast forward 10 years, or 15 years, or 20 years, and the amount of spinal damage, decay, and aging that occurs and is seen on x-rays is startling. And to think that it could have been prevented or at the very minimum the progression could have been slowed down significantly.
I am especially concerned with kids and teens because they represent our future.
And while they are spending hours and hours on their cell phones texting and browsing social media, they are unknowingly and prematurely damaging their spine.
This is a huge problem that I believe can be avoided or at least mitigated with some simple proactive changes.
Studies have shown that youths aged 8-18 spend 7 and half hours a day using multi-media devices (TV, computers, smart phones, etc). That’s similar to the amount of time an adult spends at work in a day.
Out of those 7 and half hours, 2 hours a day are spent using mobile devices. That’s two hours of ‘text neck’ occurring, daily.
So what do you do?
#1. Spend less time on mobile devices. Yes it’s possible. But especially children and teens, they must minimize the amount of time using mobile devices and sitting in front of other media devices.
#2. If you find yourself on your mobile device for a long period of time, take a mini break from it and lift your head up for a breath of air. Put your head and neck back into extension to reverse the forward head position. Also, get into the habit of holding up your smartphone closer to eye level so you are minimizing the forward had flexion. Teach this to your kids too.
#3. If you or your child/teen has never had a spinal check up with a chiropractor, now is the time to have their spine checked and evaluated for any early postural problems or early damage. The earlier you catch the spinal problem the more favourable to correction will be.
#4. If you or your child/teen is currently under regular chiropractic care, keep up your regular check ups. This is the best way to stay ahead of ‘text neck’ and prevent further damage.
#5. If you have been given any home exercises by the chiropractor (traction, posture correction mirror image exercises), be sure you do them daily. This is the best thing you can be doing at home to counteract the negative effects of daily mobile device use and daily texting.
Remember, knowledge is power. Have this knowledge and information and making no changes will just about ensure that you continue on the same path and keep getting the same results.
So… use this information and begin making the necessary changes so you can lead a healthier life for you and your children.