The Text Neck Epidemic
Ever hear of ‘text neck’? No? Well, I hate to be the one that has to tell you this, but we are spending too much time on our tech devices.
Researchers in North America are reporting the average at around 2 -2.5 hours a day on our phones and that is not including any additional screen time. I’m not here to nag you and tell you to stop because lets face it you’re not going to listen to me, at least not while there are gaming villages to save and friends to snap chat on your device. I am however here to give you some insight on how all this texting plays out structurally on your posture and ultimately on the function of your brain.
Physically we are seeing a change in our posture with the overuse of cell phones. Have you watched a teenager use their cell phone? What posture do you see? Head down, shoulders rounded forward, spine rounded and hunched forward, hips displaces to counter the weight. A name that has been placed on this posture is text neck.
With the head weighing an average of 15lbs. leaning as little as 15 degrees forward can put approximately 27lbs. of pressure on your spine. Leaning even further can put unnecessary pressure upwards of 60lbs. on your spine. The body see’s this as a problem and starts to deposit fat at the base of the neck to act as an anchor to bring the neck back. With this changing posture, function must also be affected because structure will always dictate function.
Research published in 2007 proved that abnormal curvature in the neck led to stretching of the spinal cord, diminished blood supply in and around head and neck, and cervical disc disease. The most significant health challenges originating from abnormal spinal curvature and alignment manifest through their impact on organ health. Endless clinical research determined that poor spinal health affects virtually every aspect of human performance from immunity to brain function because of the spine’s direct relationship with the nervous system.
You and I know that tech will always be a part of our lives, so what can we do to mitigate some of the effects of using it. We can make sure that we regain proper positioning when using tech, we can make sure that we do our daily Move By Design exercises and most importantly, we can get our chiropractors to check for subluxations by evaluating the health and structure of the spine and nervous system. The danger of subluxations will always be a lack of symptoms during their initial stages. Misaligned (subluxated) spines lay silent roots for long-term health concerns.
Dr. Joel Richards D.C. is a wellness expert, doctor, coach and entrepreneur. He’s the husband, father of two young, vibrant boys and an avid Boom Beach player — that he plays with proper texting technique!