Texting Your Way to Back Pain
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 02:13 PM

Humans were designed to stand upright. And yet in this modern world, too many of us spend our days with our heads slumped over for a simple reason: we're staring at the tiny screen of a smartphone.  People spend an average of 2 to 4 hours each day with their neck bent at this unnatural angle while shooting off emails or texts. That's 700 to 1,400 hours a year.

CLICK HERE FOR ACA'S TIPS FOR TEXT NECK

The average adult head weighs 10 to 12 pounds when it's in the upright or neutral position. However, because of that pesky thing called physics -- gravitational pull -- the cranium becomes heavier the more you bend your neck.  A recent study has found that bending your head at a 60 degree angle to get a better look at your selfie is putting 60 pounds' worth of pressure on your cervical spine, the portion of the spine above the shoulders. That's more than the weight of the average 7 year old.

"The weight seen by the spine dramatically increases when flexing the head forward at varying degrees," write the authors in the study. "Loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine leads to incrementally increased stresses about the cervical spine. These stresses may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration and possibly surgeries."

It's no secret that correct posture is better for your back. According to the researchers, "good posture is defined as ears aligned with the shoulders and the 'angel wings,' or the shoulder blades, retracted."  "In proper alignment, spinal stress diminished," they write in their paper. "It is the most efficient position for the spine."  Standing tall doesn't just make you look better, it optimizes your health, too. Other studies have found good posture elevates testosterone and serotonin in the body, and also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol.  People who have poorer posture often have poorer physical and emotional health.  Bad posture has been linked to a host of medical problems, including headaches and other neurological problems, depression, constipation, and heart disease. At a minimum, constant slouching is likely to cause a lot of chronic pain.

Be mindful of your smartphone posture and reduce the stresses on your neck

Source:  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/omg-youre-texting-your-way-to-back-pain/