Back Pain

Smartphones Are Killing Our Spines! What To Do About It?

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Smartphones! It’s no secret that almost everyone has one. In fact, a series of surveys by The Pew Institute in 2015 showed that 64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind. They keep us connected, offer us flexibility, and provide us with access to endless information.

They have their drawbacks. Smartphones also do a number on your spine.

Frequently hunching over your phone, texting, surfing, or reading takes a toll on your spine in numerous ways.

SmartPhones

Pressure

According to spine surgeon Kenneth Hansraj, looking down at your smartphone exerts up to 60 pounds of pressure on your head. This is serious wear and tear, and can set you up to be a prime candidate for degenerative issues.

Pain

The motion of texting or surfing the net on your smartphone can cause tightness in your shoulders, and pain radiating down your arms into your wrists and hands. Too many hours spent on your device can also cause upper and lower back pain.

Muscle Spasms

Over time, your smartphone usage may damage your upper back to the point you begin dealing with muscle spasms, often attributed to “text neck.”

Instead of woefully shutting you beloved smartphone in a drawer, vowing to never use it again, realize there are ways to keep your phone and a healthy spine intact. You just need to take a few simple precautions. Here are four ways to prevent spinal issues from smartphone usage, and handle the ones you may already have.

#1: Be Aware Of Your Posture

A few small changes to the way you use your smartphone can be the difference in ensuring your spine, neck, and back don’t end up suffering. Bring your phone up in front of your face, instead of leaning your head over and bending your neck to see your screen. This will keep the pressure off your neck, and minimize issues that could result.

#2: Take Breaks

Get off that phone, there’s a whole world out there! Avoid the temptation of keeping your nose stuck in your phone for an hour or more. Keep your surfing and texting to a few minutes at a time. Lay down your phone, stand up, or simply look around at your surroundings every few minutes. Frequent breaks give your spine a chance to relax, and relieve the pressure of bending your neck for a long period.

#3: Practice Stretching

Get in the habit of stretching your neck, raising your arms, rolling your shoulders, and twisting your back at the waste. These easy stretches are a quick way to loosen up body parts that can tighten up and cause injury over time.

#4: Visit A Chiropractor

If you begin noticing pain, spasms, or irritation in your neck, shoulders, or back that lingers, make an appointment with a professional chiropractor. Explain when the pain occurred, the severity, and the activity that started it. You may only require a simple adjustment to get re-aligned and gain relief from pain caused by overuse of your smartphone. A good chiropractor can also help decrease the chances of the injury worsening over time.

Not one of us is going to swear off our smartphones because of pain. However, by following these tips, improving our posture, and taking frequent breaks to stretch, we will be able to minimize the impact our phone obsession has on our spine. If you overdo it, make sure you get to an experienced chiropractor for an adjustment, so the issue is kept to a minimum.

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Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Smartphones Are Killing Our Spines! What To Do About It?" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.

Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*

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