Texting causes extra pressure to spine - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Texting causes extra pressure to spine

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(NBC) That phone you can't live without can be a pain in the neck, literally.

Bending your head to text or browse puts lots of extra stress on your cervical spine, but there are ways to be a smarter user of your smart device.

Dr. Ken Hansraj, a spinal and orthopedic surgeon in Poughkeepsie, New York, set out to measure the impact that the typical texting posture —head tilted forward, shoulders drooping — is having on our bodies.

An adult head weighs 10-12 pounds in a neutral position, but by tilting it forward, the forces it exerts on the neck can surge—up to 60 pounds when the head is tilted by 60 degrees, Hansraj found in a study recently published in the journal Surgical Technology International. That may lead to “early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries,” the study found.

Hansraj sees lots of patients hunched over their devices, which can result in back and neck pain. When one man kept having problems, it turned out he spent four hours a day playing games on his iPad, heads down.

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