Why Texting Could Be Ruining Your Spine
the MPR take:
Tilting the head forward to use smart devices for reading and texting may be putting as much as 60lbs of excess stress on the cervical spine and leading to early wear, tear, and degeneration. In the journal Surgical Technology International, Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj outlines his model for assessing the weight seen by the spine when the head flexes forward at varying degrees. In a neutral standing position, the force to the cervical spine is 10–12lbs; this increases to 27lbs with a 15 degree head tilt. 40lbs at 30 degrees, 49lbs at 45 degrees, and 60lbs at 60 degrees. Poor posture often occurs when the head is tilted in a forward position with the shoulders in a rounded position; over time, this can contribute to incrementally increased stresses on the cervical spine and a possible need for surgery. Since it is unlikely that people will stop using these devices, Dr. Hansraj recommends greater awareness of proper posture with a neutral spine position while using hand-held technology.
Billions of people are using cell phone devices on the planet, essentially in poor posture. The purpose of this study is to assess the forces incrementally seen by the cervical spine as the head is tilted forward, into worsening posture. This data is also necessary for cervical spine surgeons to understand in the reconstruction of the neck.