Texting


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The position you're in is probably causing you pain, whether you're aware of it yet or not. Don't worry, physical therapists have a diagnosis for the headaches, neck cricks and achy shoulders. They call it "Text Neck."

"Text Neck is not just a texting problem," says Dr. Dean Fishman. "Text neck is a gaming problem. Text neck is an e-mailing problem."

The average human head weighs 10 pounds in a neutral position -- when your ears are over your shoulders. For every inch you tilt your head forward, the pressure on your spine doubles. So if you're looking at a smartphone in your lap, your neck is holding up what feels like 20 or 30 pounds.

Sleeping with your smartphone?

All that extra pressure puts a strain on your spine and can pull it out of alignment. Dr. Tom DiAngelis, president of the American Physical Therapy Association's Private Practice Section, compares it to bending your finger back all the way and holding it there for an hour.

"As you stretch the tissue for a long period of time, it gets sore, it gets inflamed," DiAngelis says. "The real question ... is 'What are the long term effects going to be?' "

Staying in what experts call the "forward head posture" can lead to muscle strain, disc herniations and pinched nerves. Over time, it can even flatten or reverse the natural curve of your neck.

As your mother used to say: Be careful or it might stay like that.

3 Comments

This freaks me out! I know I have bad posture sometimes but this makes me feel like I am hurting my body more than I thought. How do we fix this? Put our phones at eye level every time we text? Or put our laptops on a higher desk?

This freaks me out! I know I have bad posture sometimes but this makes me feel like I am hurting my body more than I thought. How do we fix this? Put our phones at eye level every time we text? Or put our laptops on a higher desk?

I've read about this issue before! Bad posture and neck problems are among a ton of health problems that can arise from texting, though! I read an article on the New York Times website a while ago that listed other health problems resulting from texting. It can also mess up the muscles in your thumb pretty bad! Much like carpal tunnel sydrome, which is a known condition that results from typing on a computer too much.

Researchers have actually recently found that texting can potentially lead to brain damage. The use of cell phones causes a portion of our brain (the ratio communis) to flicker and go off. This can cause definite damage to the brain! You can read that article here !

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