We have entered an age where technology is a large part of people’s everyday lives, especially the smartphone Whether it’s using your phone to do a little research on the go, or sending e-mails to clients, to talk and text friends, check your social media, or to fling little birds at pigs, almost everybody who has the ability to read this article probably owns a smart phone. One thing that people do not realize is the damage they could be doing to their spine, while using their smartphones.
A study done by Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, published in the Surgical Technology International journal, showed that looking down at your cell phone could be the equivalent to putting a 60 pound weight on your neck. Imagine the long lasting effects you are leaving on your spine by doing this. If you want to help drastically reduce the stress you are causing on yourself, take a look at these 8 tips.
1. Hold your phone straight out in front of you
By doing this, you are avoiding having to bend your neck down to look at your phone, thus reducing the stress on your neck and spine. The idea is to try and keep your device at eye level. The diagram above shows how much “weight” can be relieved just by simply raising your head to use your phone.
2. Adjust your posture frequently
When you are using your smart phone for a long period of time, you can help relieve stress on your spine by checking and adjusting your posture frequently. If you adjust your posture frequently and maintain a neutral posture overall, you are more likely to keep unnecessary stress off of your neck and spine.
3. Take frequent breaks
This is one of the best things you can do for yourself. If you want to eliminate back and neck pain, put down your phone and take a walk, or stretch. This way, you are taking time away from slouching over your cell phone and making yourself feel better by getting a little exercise and fresh air.
4. Keep yourself healthy and promote bone strength
You can actually help prevent a lot of wear and tear on your spine that is caused by prolonged cell phone usage by keeping yourself healthy and supporting bone growth. Some ways you can do this is taking in plenty of calcium and vitamin D, which will keep your bones from thinning over time. You can also do bone strengthening exercises, such as yoga, light weight lifting and walking.
5. Keep hydrated
Staying hydrated throughout the day can help relieve stress in your body, from the neck down, so be sure to drink plenty of water if you have to use that phone for a long period of time.
6. Refrain from texting for a day
Another incredibly beneficial thing you can do is to try and avoid using your phone for texting or e-mail. You can simply call people if you need to talk, or even meet up for lunch with a friend. This way, you are not spending your time hunched over texting, but rather socializing with somebody face to face.
7. Add magnesium to your diet
Magnesium helps contract and relax your muscles. It may reduce tension in your neck and back caused by using your phone for an excessive period of time. You can get magnesium from certain vegetables, nuts and whole grains, soaking in an Epsom salt bath, or by simply taking it as a supplement.
8. Seek chiropractic care frequently
If you are in a position where you need to use your smartphone daily, it would be wise to visit a chiropractor regularly. Who better to help you relieve back and neck pain than a professional?
Your spine has 33 of the 206 bones in your body and can make everyday tasks impossible if not properly cared for. Do yourself a favor and use these 8 tips so you can live a pain free life.
BY MICHAEL DAWS