Cell phones have a pretense of being so compatible with our daily lives. For some people, these pocket portals play an indispensable role in their daily routines. Business is conducted, friends are contacted and information is conjured with the flick of a finger or the press of a button; their convenience is what has made us so reliant on their function. Unfortunately, we are not hearing the muted cries of our spine, as we crane our necks ever downward, until it is too late. And “too late,” is coming on earlier and earlier: overuse of handheld devices is being linked with premature onset of degenerative conditions in the spine.
Pull your cell phone out of your pocket. Chances are whether you are sitting or standing, you held the phone in your lap or close to the waist. Whether out of habit or prudence, most people do not raise the screen to their eye level, allowing the spine to remain in neutral posture with the head faced forward. Instead, most cell phone interaction is conducted from the waist, meaning your shoulders are slumped forward and your neck is craned downward. This magnifies the weight of your head on the spine, and muscles are imbalanced and strained in an attempt to compensate.
For teens, who are among the most frequent texters, this is a particularly problematic quandary: spines attempting to grow strong and straight do not need the hindrance of poor posture caused by overuse of cell phones. Do not let your spine be damaged by something so easy to avoid. When it comes to feeling good, posture is potent: for recommendations on posture throughout all daily activities and adjustments that keep your spine aligned, schedule an appointment by calling our office in Hackensack at (201) 342-6111
Dr. Albert Stabile, D.C., C.C.P.C.P., F.I.C.C.