Is Your Smartphone Killing Your Spine?
By Sara Butler
Look around you – how many people are on their smartphone right now? Are you? Well, technology sure has provided people with some incredible things, but that technological breakthrough that you may holding in your hand right now could also be ruining your spine. Here are some of the side effects of smartphone use that you need to be aware of so you can try to avoid them!
This condition has a snappy name, but it’s serious! When you tilt your head down to look at the screen on your phone, you are adding pounds of pressure to your neck and shoulders. Since one of the major jobs of your spine is to support you head, this unnecessary stress and strain can cause some problems, including:
- Muscle tightness in the neck and shoulders
- Muscle tension in the neck and shoulders
- Pain in the shoulders, down the arms
The moral of this story is: Hold your phone at eye level when you’re using it to avoid looking down and make sure you tell your kids the same. Chiropractors have seen children with complaints of pain as a result from text neck.
Wrist and Arm Pain
The way you hold your phone in your hands can also make a big difference. When you keep your hands in one position for too long, it keeps your muscles tense and doesn’t give them a chance to relax. The muscles engaged as you use your phone will eventually become fatigued, and that can lead to pain over time in your wrist and elbows.
Sore Lower and Upper Back
Your neck will struggle to support your head when you’re practicing poor posture on your smartphone, which can lead to back pain – both upper and lower. The muscles that run up and down your spine help to support and stabilize your head, so putting undue pressure on them can cause pain anywhere along the spine due to the muscle strain.
If you’re a master texter, then you may be at risk for something called “Blackberry thumb.” This is when the tendons and ligaments that support your thumb become inflamed and irritated, leading to pain in the thumb and hand. It’s a repetitive strain injury that can be a huge pain in the thumb.
If you use a smartphone or some other device, you’re at risk for these problems. So, make sure to discuss how you can avoid them with your chiropractor the next time you’re at The Joint!
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.