Text messaging has become one of the primary methods of communication for Americans. Unfortunately, it is not a form of communication that the spine was prepared for: overuse of cell phones is causing premature degeneration of the spine. At American Canyon Chiropractor, we are witnessing firsthand the damaging effects of a 21st century lifestyle on the spine. Worryingly, the demographic suffering the most damage is younger people, who use cell phones the most frequently.
The posture of the standard text message participant, whether sitting or standing, is head tilted forward and frequently downward. This is forcing muscles and tendons in the neck and shoulders to compensate in order to support a greater weight. The neck is designed to withstand a standard head weight in neutral posture of 10-12 pounds. When we angle our necks downward to receive or type text messages, we are magnifying the weight of the head exponentially on these very same muscles. As with all forms of poor posture, the structures of our body are not meant to withstand increased weight or pressure for long periods of time.
For youth, whose spines are still developing, it is worth seriously considering the toll that text messaging could take. The damaging angle of text messaging can create developmental abnormalities such as muscular deformity and bone spurs. No matter your age, this is a problem that can be combatted with awareness and proactivity. Text neck is a modern extraction of a larger system: keeping your body in a neutral and supportive posture at all times of the day is a key to musculoskeletal well being. Posture is within your control; let us help you institute healthy habits that will lead to a life long healthy spine. Call our office in American Canyon at (707) 864-2223.
Dr. Stephen Rasmussen, D.C.