Are cell phones doing more damage to our bodies than we know?

In a world of IPhone XS’, the limits of what we can achieve with our handheld technology has reached a new level that directly impacts our everyday health. One must ask themselves, do the benefits of smartphone use outweigh the negatives? In a study conducted by the Department of Neurosurgery, Neuroscience Research Center it was found that “bending the head, neck, and shoulders over cell phones and handheld devices, along with distorted neck positioning when sitting, studying, and watching television, can lead to incrementally increased stresses in the cervical spine area.”  The impediment on the natural curve of our cervical spine ( the part of the spine running the length of our neck) is directly related to our cell phone usage as most of us are using our phones at a 60 degree angle. The illustration below demonstrates what occurs on the cervical spine at varying degrees.

As the spine curves lower, a greater amount of weight is subsequently added to the spine (roughly 10 lbs of pressure per inch). Couple this with the amount of time spent on our phones and one is faced with a very difficult dilemma. In fact “the average screen-time over 30 days was a median 3.7 minutes per hour (IQR 2.2 to 5.5)”, with adolescents at an even greater risk of time spent on their smartphones. On top of the pain associated with a subluxed cervical spine, it was found that “longer average screen-time was associated with shorter sleep duration and worse sleep-efficiency” meaning that the more time spent on your phone is giving you less time to heal during sleep.

 

At Knecht Chiropractic Clinic in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, “Text-Neck” is noted to cause subluxations in the cervical spine. In other words it is a misalignment of the vertebrae, most noticeably in the natural “C” curve found in a healthy cervical spine. This curve is imperative in keeping the cervical spine in proper alignment, without it one runs the risk of subluxations and in worst case scenarios a fusing of the vertebrae. Of course putting the phone down will help, but often times the damage has been done with the formation of poor posture habits that continue to worsen a neck that is already subluxated. If not dealt with in a timely manner, wear, tear and degeneration of the cervical spine are inevitable and without chiropractic one may find themselves on the receiving end of surgery. To find out more about “Text-Neck” and the function of the cervical spine schedule an appointment with Knecht Chiropractic Clinic Today. 

 

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Author
Dr. Andrew Knecht

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