There is no denying that the smartphone has become a big part of your life. In fact, it has become more a need than a want. But prolonged duration of being in a single position can be extremely dangerous for your back if your daily practices have not done it yet.
Chances are you are probably tilted forward and curved shoulders while reading on your smartphone. Meanwhile, your arms are probably (most likely) be bent on one side. Did you know that this is how inflammation would occur? The posture is one which is creating some form of pain that you are probably not aware of (yet!).
You would have heard of terms like dead leg or lazy eye and now they have what is known as Text Neck. As the name implies, it can be caused by:
- texting and reading on smartphones
- gaming and staring at the computer
This term was created by one Dr Dean Fishman who treated a 17-year old patient complaining of neck pains and headaches. This has since been somewhat enhanced in a recent study that showed that texting and back-pains are interrelated.
So what should you do?
If backpains and texting are so directly linked, does that mean you should stop this altogether. But that is something that is almost impossible to do especially in today’s world of digital communication. You should start being more cognizant but to take note of your head when you use it.
The main idea here is to ensure that your head is straight up. The concept is simple. At average, the human head is about 10 pounds when it is in a neutral position (ie: not tilted) where your ears are exactly over your shoulders. When your tilt your head forward, the pressure on your spine will double up with every inch. This means that while your head is not holding anything, titling forward to look at your smartphone naturally inflict about 25 pounds of weight on your neck. Make no mistake about it, your neck is not designed to hold up so much.
In the long run, it will put more pressure on your spine. Among the effects that will occur and that you are at risk at includes:
- pinched nerves
- muscle strains
- disc herniations
- damages the curve of the neck
The danger signs are there. A normal teenager spends at average of 8 hours on digital media and this is prevalent even among the adults and elderly too.
Is there a way around this?
You cannot avoid it, so you have to try to beat the system. Experts have suggested that:
- Be cautious of how your body reacts
- keep your feet flat
- keep your head straight
- ensure your shoulders are rolled back and not hunch
- use a headset or something to hold the device
This practice is simple enough to ensure that your head is at its best and most natural position which will help to avoid long-term repetitive injuries.