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From Dr. Waldron: Texting can be hard on your spine

Young beautiful girl texting in the city streetsLike most of you, I rely on text messaging to communicate with friends, family and professional associates. But it’s important to be aware that texting can be hard on your spine.

A study published in Surgical Technology International finds that texting can add up to 50 pounds of pressure on a person’s spine, depending on the angle at which the person is texting.

In the study, Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, a spinal and orthopedic surgeon, calculated how stressful varying degrees of curvature would be on a person’s spine. At zero degrees of tilt, the resting pressure is equal to the weight of the person’s head: roughly 10 to 12 pounds. But for each 15 degrees of tilt, the pressure increases. At 15 degrees, a person feels 27 pounds of pressure; at 30 degrees, it ups to 40 pounds; at 45 degrees, 49 pounds; and at 60 degrees, a person should feel roughly 60 pounds of force on the spine.

According to this article in Medical Daily:

Many people, upcoming generations especially, essentially grew up in these positions. Much of the entertainment today relies on a screen of some kind, and if it’s not a TV or desktop computer, it’s a tablet or smart phone that sits comfortably in a person’s hand, but at the same time demands the user crane his or her neck to use it. One estimate suggests people use these devices for roughly two to four hours a day, meaning our necks stay bent for 700 to 1,400 hours in a given year. High school students are even worse, Hansraj says. They may hit 5,000 hours before they graduate.


What texting does to your neck and spine. (Source: Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, Surgical Technology International)

The key, as the graphic shows above, is to avoid slumped-over texting. Uf you have a smart phone that allows voice texting, that can be an even better way to avoid “text neck.”

If you or anyone in your family has aches and pains related to mobile device or computer use, chiropractic care can help. Call our office today at 425-778-9600 for a consultation.

— Dr. Matthew Waldron

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