The Dangers of Text Neck: How your Smartphone (and Pokemon GO) is Hurting your Spine

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It’s most likely nothing unexpected that cell phone utilize has expanded significantly over the most recent couple of years yet you won’t not understand what this expansion of such gadgets could be doing to your spine and neck. By and large, people spend around 3-6 hours on electronic gadgets including cell phones, tablets, workstations, and TVs. Wherever you go, most people (generally between the ages of 18-44) are bearing their telephones consistently whether they’re messaging, messaging, checking web based life records, for example, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, playing recreations, or chatting on the telephone.

This obsession of constantly checking and looking at your phone not only causes you to disconnect from the world around you but also causes extra weight and stress to be placed on your neck and back. You might be unaware of how much extra weight this actually is. On average, your skull weighs around 10-12lbs, for every inch your head tilts forward, you add an additional 10lbs of stress to your neck, shoulders, back, and spine. For example, say your head is forward two inches; this is equivalent to walking around with a 30lb child on your shoulders. Now, what might this extra weight and stress be called? This epidemic is referred as “text neck.” This condition is defined, as the pain and discomfort caused by looking down are your electronic devices for a long period of time. Text neck results in a more commonly known health condition known as forward head posture. Forward head posture is a posture stance in which your head moves forward away from your shoulders.

How Do I Know If I Have Text Neck or Forward Head Posture?

Do you think you may be suffering from text neck? The most obvious signs you are experiencing symptoms of text neck are soreness in your neck, back, and shoulders. Other common symptoms may include:

-Upper back pain
-Shoulder tightness and pain
-Muscle spasms
-Chronic headaches
-Abnormal curves in your spine

How Can I Reduce Pain Caused From Text Neck?

Fortunately, this condition is easily prevented! It can be as simple as reducing the amount of time you spend on such devices. In addition, there are other ways to help treat and say goodbye to text neck:

-Hold your electronic devices at eye level as much as you can!

Especially for those sitting at a computer desk all day, it’s vital to align your monitor to your eye level. This will reduce your head from tilting forward, eliminating the extra weight that is put on your spine and back.

-Take periodic breaks from electronic devices throughout the day.

As hard as it may be, put down your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy and go for a walk! It will be there when you get back, I promise. This will also help give your eyes a break from staring at the computer screen or phone screen, which can reduce headaches and migraines.

-Sit up straight!

There are numerous benefits of having good posture including relieving chronic neck and back pain, reducing migraines, giving you more energy, and helps give you more confidence. Correcting your posture while using your smartphone or tablet will help give you these benefits as well as reduces the stress and tension being placed on your body.

-Wear a posture brace.

Wearing a posture corrector can help train your muscles to stand up straight with your shoulders back. By wearing this posture brace for only 30 minutes a day, you can help your back, neck, and shoulders from the stress and tension that may arise. Similar to text neck, those working a sedentary job are vulnerable to the many negative health effects of hunching over their computer and desk all day. It’s important to sit in the proper and correct sitting position with your eyes level to your monitor, feet flat on the ground, elbows bent, and your body aligned. This correct posture, in turn, will help prevent back pain, cardiovascular issues, depression and stress, headaches, and tense muscles.

What Injuries Can Result from Text Neck Overtime?

If left untreated, text neck can result in numerous different health conditions late on in life including:

-Herniated discs
-Degeneration of your spine
-Spinal arthritis
-Flattening of your spinal curve
-Nerve damage (pinched)
-Decrease of oxygen intake
-Insomnia or sleep apnea

Can Pokémon GO Result in Text Neck? How Can I Play It Safely?

Gotta catch ‘em all? As most of you know, Pokémon GO has become one of the top downloaded apps and most prominent games for this summer. Pokémon GO continues to surprise us with its growing popularity! This is a virtual reality game in which users catch, train Pokémon, and battle other players, based on their current location. There has been a lot of talk on how Pokémon GO can result in players not looking up while playing the game, leading them to run into surrounding objects, which could possibly injure them. Users have also been playing this game while riding bikes, driving, and other activities, which may cause a distraction. In addition to this risk, Pokémon GO can result in text neck. Players find themselves constantly staring down at their screen while playing the game. As mentioned previously, this forward head posture has many negative health effects on your back and spine.

Wondering how to play this game safely? Use these tips below to help prevent text neck:

– Hold your telephone at eye level while playing the diversion (case to one side of flawless Pokémon GO act). On the off chance that you are strolling around outside, this is additionally more secure on the grounds that you will have the fringe vision of your surroundings so you can keep a post for adjacent autos, bicyclists, and other individuals.

– Make beyond any doubt to abstain from holding your telephone around your hips while strolling to decrease the possibility of running into things and stressing your neck

– Take breaks! Each time you get a Pokémon, remunerate your neck by taking a break to extend (except if all you got was a 10 CP Weedle or Pidgey). I’m joking! Genuinely however, turn upward and appreciate the landscape around you, and your neck will thank you for it later.

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