Of all Americans, 95% own a cellphone of some kind. While this has undoubtedly made communication easier, it has also had some unintended consequences, such as issues with spine alignment and back and neck pain. Below are a few ways regular cellphone use can impact the health of the spine.
Most people use their cellphone by leaning forward and bending their neck downward to tend to their mobile device. The human head typically weighs 10 to 12 pounds, and routinely bending it forward places more pressure on your neck muscles to hold it erect. As a result, just leaning 15 degrees forward places a staggering 27 pounds of weight on the neck. Leaning forward 60 degrees places a whopping 60 pounds of weight on the neck. As the neck muscles are stretched beyond capacity to bear this kind of weight, it doesn't take long for pain to develop. Over time, cellphone-induced bending can cause structural problems with spine alignment in the neck, leading to any number of issues, such as pinched nerves and herniated discs.
The back, too, is affected by regular cellphone use. Bending the neck downward reaches the muscles in both the upper and lower back. It throws off the natural balance provided by an upright spine and overtaxes muscle systems in the torso that aren't designed to support the weight of the head and neck. This has a detrimental impact on posture and can cause muscle pain, soreness, poor circulation, digestive issues, and emotional stress.
Prevention & Treatment
Smart cellphone habits are essential to maintaining spine alignment and preventing neck and back pain. Take frequent breaks when using mobile devices, and aim to lift the device to your eyes — not lower your eyes to the device. Check your posture regularly to ensure an upright spine, a neutral neck, and ears over the shoulders. If you have any pain resulting from cellphone usage, see a chiropractor; there, you can get a customized treatment plan that targets the specific areas that are overworked and tailored exercises for preventing further issues.
Living without a cellphone is simply not feasible in today's world, so people need to adjust their bodies as needed to meet this new reality. West Chiropractic Clinic is here to help you in that process. Serving the Soldotna, AK, area, they offer a range of chiropractic treatments, including spine alignment assessments and adjustments, as well as massage therapy and reflexology. Call (907) 262-9171 or visit their website to make an appointment.