Everyone knows that using your phone to text or browse the internet while driving is dangerous, yet we still do it. Texting while driving in cars and trucks causes over 3,000 deaths and 330,000 injuries per year, according to a Harvard Centre for Risk Analysis study. And texting while walking leads to even more injuries per mile!
You may have thought that using your Smartphone while sitting or standing still was the safest thing you could do, but actually texting while standing has its health drawbacks as well.
Tilting our heads down and forward, even slightly, when we look at our Smartphone screens can put as much as 60 pounds of stress on our necks and spines. If you constantly do this for hours on end you could be at risk for “Text or Twitter neck”, as its become known.
The human head weighs on average 10 to 12 pounds. With perfect posture, your spine is designed to carry this weight, but if you bend your head forward, you’ll add extra weight and more stress. The result? Pain.
Most people that present to us here in our Physical Therapy clinic in Mexilhoeira Grande - Portimao, complain of neck pain, shoulder tightness, upper back pain, and headaches, and if you start to put pressure on your nerves by using your phone this way, you can also develop numbness and tingling down your arms, and hands. This, in turn, can cost you a lot of money looking for MRI scans etc, but in reality, it’s your poor posture that you probably don’t even acknowledge anymore.
I dread to see the children of today in 10 or 15 years time, as they have grown up with phones from the age of 3 or 4, just when their bones are soft and forming, so this deformity is going to multiply exponentially in the next 10 to 20 years. Thankfully I should be fully retired by then, or in the great physio clinic in the clouds, so won’t have to deal with it - my condolences to the physios of the future.
How to avoid it:
Be aware of your posture. Keep your ears aligned with your shoulders and your shoulders slightly back, as seen in the first image here (and not like a soldier, this is a myth to have the shoulders right back and causes worse issues). Bring the device up to your eyes instead of bringing your head down, where possible.
Prop your elbows up — if you’ve got armrests on your chairs, use them — and keep your chin up. Holding your phone in front of your face may look odd, but you’ll avoid painful neck and spine problems.
It’s also important to limit the time using your devices. The constant repetitive movement and posture puts a lot of strain on the joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves
If you have this issue and nothing is working for you, please contact us as we have full specific treatment for this issue and also furnish you with a full rehab program that will stop and start to reverse this issue, especially if you see it in your children, or they complain of neck/shoulder issues, please don’t ignore them or ignore your own pain. There is something you can do about it.
Having studied in Ireland, England and America over the last 15 years, we have gained a wealth of information and effective techniques to treat most if not all Musclo-Skeletal issues presented to us.
Please feel free to read our reviews on our Facebook page for more proof of what we do and who we have helped in our almost 3 years in Portugal and 12 years in Ireland, and how you can eradicate your ongoing pain or avoid needless surgery.
We treat and speak English and Portuguese and a little German if necessary.
Don’t accept pain and discomfort as part of your daily life. Treatments are by appointment only so please message, call number below or tag yourself here with a comment or if local to Portimao, drop by our clinic and make your appointment.
David and James - Neuro Back Pain Clinic
(Formerly Largo Damaso Clinic) Mexilheoira Grande