How your phone is ruining your health

How often do you look at your phone? The answer is probably: way too often! There’s almost no escaping it these days, we all look down at our smartphones and tablets far too much. This slouched posture causes too much tension on your neck muscles and spine as they try to hold your head up. By overloading your spine like this you can get all sorts of physical problems like neck pain, headaches, and pain in your back and shoulders. Looking down at your phone and the complaints that go hand in hand with that even has a name: ‘text neck’.

Your spine consists of 24 vertebrae. If they are aligned well and move normally your spine can withstand heavy loads. If you don’t have an optimal posture and you do things repetitively for long periods of time, like looking down at your phone, your spine and the muscles supporting your head become weak. Your head weighs about 5 kilograms if you hold it up properly. In a forward slouched posture the weight of your head on your spine can be up to 30 kilograms! Our neck muscles and spine aren’t designed to withstand that kind of force for long.

Because of this constant overloading of your spine you can develop symptoms, and also eventually a hump. A hump or poor posture makes you look less confident and less attractive. Unfortunately a lot of people think that a poor posture is just a cosmetic problem. Most people don’t know that your posture plays a much bigger role than that, and that it is in fact a health problem.

If you have a poor posture your body won’t function as well. Besides symptoms like pain, a poor posture can put a lot of stress on your spinal cord, causing your nervous system function to decrease. As a result of a forward slouched posture your chest can start compressing your organs. This can make it harder for you to breathe, and influence your digestion.

Your posture is the position in which you hold your body when you are standing, sitting and lying down. A good posture is one in which your muscles, ligaments and joints are loaded the least. A poor posture is often a structural problem of your spine. Until this problem is addressed postural exercises to strengthen specific muscles aren’t really going to make much of a difference.

‘Text neck’ can obviously be prevented by looking down at your phone a lot less. If you still can’t resist looking at it, at least try to have a more active posture in which you bring your phone up at eye level so that you’re not hunched over. Strengthening certain muscles can help with your posture short-term, but if your body has structurally collapsed it won’t do enough. Whenever you have to sit for long periods of time your muscles will tire and you will just slouch back in the bad position anyway.

The solution is to have your spine corrected in a specific way so that your body straightens up by itself, without having to do exercises. Having your posture corrected isn’t always a quick fix for pain. Look at it as a long-term plan to get your posture back on track and to ensure that your body starts functioning better again. At Chiropractic De Pijp I use a unique method of treatment that can correct posture very well. If you want to have your posture evaluated or you want to start improving it, make an appointment today and we’ll get started as soon as possible.