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Text Neck

by Dr. Andrew T. Brady, Chiropractic Physician

Dr. Andrew T. BradyThe average American adult spends roughly 86 hours per month on their smartphone, according to recent data from comScore, a data analytics company. Phones have become such an addiction that recently someone scrolled through Facebook while I was trying to X-ray them! Spending 86 hours a month on your phone is not only sad, but it is detrimental to your overall health.

The most common way people scroll through emails, social media, pictures, and texts is with their phone in either hand at waist level and their neck flexed downward. Being in this position for a short period of time doesn’t cause problems, but being in this position for 86 hours a month can cause a devastating spinal degenerative process that, over several years, may get progressively worse and affect quality of life.

This process is called cervical subluxation degeneration and is commonly referred to as “text neck.” Text neck used to be something seen primarily in adults, but because children are spending so much time on their phones, it is now something we see in kids as young as 10 years old. Unfortunately, since we cannot see our spines, it isn’t a transformation most people notice occurring. Typically, we only see the kids and adults who have actually begun developing symptoms. These symptoms can include neck pain, tingling in the fingers, feeling the need to “crack” your neck, headaches, ear problems, jaw problems, shoulder problems and sinus issues. Many adults and children seek out medications to treat these symptoms but fail to have a chiropractic evaluation to determine if the root cause is a subluxation. Medications often work well to treat or manage the symptoms of text neck, but fail to correct the subluxation, so the degenerative process continues.

In my opinion, a thorough chiropractic evaluation should include a case history, spinal X-rays, spinal range of motion, and measurement of nervous system function. These are tools chiropractors use to determine how spinal misalignments may be affecting overall health.

If you think you might be guilty of using your phone 86 hours per month, consider implementing some phonefree time and get a chiropractic evaluation. Not only will this improve your health, but you can spend that time truly connecting with your loved ones and being present. On their death bed, I bet that no one ever wished they had spent more time on their phone. Life is short; don’t let it pass you by!

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Spine Integrative Wellness Article – Text Neck | (234) 284-8002