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Looking at Your Cell Phone Wrong Can Cause Long-Term Harm

back view of neck painThe way our bodies are designed, posture wise, our head is supposed to be at the top of our spine, the highest point in our body. So we’re designed to have our eyes looking out towards the horizon, so eyes are level and looking straight ahead. However, given the emergence of technology and people spending hours daily on their digital devices, forward head posture is wreaking havoc on people’s spines.

The Effects of Downward Posture

Your head weighs anywhere from 15 to 20 pounds. So it’s like a bowling ball on top of the neck. When the head is over the top of the spine, the muscles of the neck only have to balance that bowling ball, and that’s what they’re designed to do.

“When your head is looking down for a long time, such as staring at your phone, that 15-20 pound weight of skull and brain, etc. equates to over 60 pounds of force on the spine. That’s like having a small 10-year-old sitting on your shoulders, all the time,” said Dr. Chris.

Reverse Neck Curve

These days, teens often spend 8-9 hours on their devices. Looking down at the phone is the first step toward the development of osteoarthritis in the neck. The issue that some people have is that after they’ve had forward head posture for years, sometimes parts of their spine have gotten stuck in that position. And they don’t even have the ability to assume the correct posture. So they need chiropractors to get the stuck bones moving, so that they even have a chance of getting proper posture back.

“Over time, the end result of this, which is now happening earlier and earlier, is something called a reverse neck curve. And that is something that we typically see in people who have had a severe auto accident, or some type of major trauma, like a football injury or some kind of big sporting injury,” said Dr. April.

In the past, when people didn’t have cell phones or other digital devices to look at, a reverse neck curve may not have shown until someone was in their 60s, because that’s how long it would take for that reverse presentation to set in. Now we’re seeing it in the mid to late teens and into the 20s. In many young people, we’re seeing a reverse neck curve with no history of trauma. It all comes back to looking at those devices.

Tips for Tackling Tech Neck

Besides chiropractic care, you can also address forward head posture or tech neck by making your workstation ergonomically friendly and keeping your phone at eye level.

If you’re concerned your posture has suffered because of looking downward at your devices, call ViVO Chiropractic ® today to book an appointment.

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