Seattle Chiropractor Explains How to Avoid Text Neck

Hello again! It’s Dr. Zapata with Emerald City Spinal Care. On this Tip of the Week, I’m going to be discussing ‘Text Neck’ and how to save your neck from your smart phone. As a chiropractor in Seattle WA, I am often times asked by people what I recommend they do to help remedy neck and shoulder pain. With more and more people spending hours on their smart phones every day, this is a topic that is coming up more and more frequently.

Did you know that the average person spends 90 minutes per day on their phone? Now, that may not sound like a lot, but that amounts to 23 days in one whole year. Over the span of someone’s life, that comes to 3.9 years!! Now, all that time spent on your phone can take a real serious toll on your neck and your upper back.

So, to demonstrate what I am talking about, I’m going to share some examples with you. Before I do that however, let’s establish a baseline.

  • When the head is in a neutral position, the average weight on the spine is ten to twelve pounds, which is the weight of a bowling ball.

OK, so now we know what the average weight on the spine when your head is neutral is twelve pounds, so let’s explore how that changes when your neck is bent forward, as it often times is when using a smart phone!

  • When your neck is bent forward at fifteen degrees, the weight on the spine increases to roughly 25 pounds.  That is roughly double what it was at zero degrees and the equivalent of a 19 inch flat screen TV!
  • Now, when your neck is bent forward at thirty degrees, the weight of the head on the spine goes up to 40 pounds. That is roughly the equivalent of a microwave oven!
  • Finally, when your neck is bent forward at sixty degrees, the weight of the head on the spine goes all the way up to 60 pounds! That is the equivalent of a leather armchair!

Now that we have established how the weight of your head on your spine can dramatically increase the further forward you bend your neck, I want to share with you four tips to help you avoid text neck.

  1. Keep your head in a neutral position. Make sure that your ears line up with your shoulders.
  2. Keep your phone in front of you with your back straight.
  3. Look down with your eyes rather than your neck. This will help you avoid bending your neck to see your phone.
  4. Make sure that you are moving around all the time. Avoid spending hours hunched over your phone. Instead, move, change your posture or do some stretches periodically.

This has been another tip of the week! As a chiropractor in Seattle, I can tell you that text neck is starting to become something we hear about more and more often from patients and even from the media. So, take a proactive approach to help ensure that you don’t end up with back or upper neck problems stemming from your smartphone!

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For all of us at Emerald City Spinal Care, thank and have an amazing week!

- Zapata and the Emerald City Spinal Care Team

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Emerald City Spinal Care
1222 East Madison Street Suite D
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 204-8255