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What Using Your Phone Does to the Spine

Using Your Phone Puts the Weight of a 4-Year Old Child on Your Neck

Weight on the Spine from Cell Phone Use

As Olga Khazan of The Atlantic points out in a recent article, 60 pounds is about the weight of 4 adult-size bowling balls. Or a four year old child. Or six plastic grocery bags full of food.

According to a new study by Surgical Technology International, it is also the weight that looking down at a cell phone puts on the spine of an average adult human. They arrived at this figure by using a computer model which took into account the weight of an average adult human's head and the increased gravitational pull on a head caused by looking down.

"As the head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck surges to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees," Hansraj writes in the paper.

Americans look down at a phone an average an hour a day, and the stress on your spine can really add up. "These stresses," Hansraj writes, "may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries." If you want to reduce the level of stress on your neck caused by using your phone, you should train yourself not to look down when you are using your phone (see the image above).

The Atlantic goes on to say, "Of course, physical therapists have been howling about the scourge of "Text Neck" for years. But it's certainly eyebrow-raising to learn that looking at Twitter in the supermarket checkout line is the equivalent of giving an aardvark a piggy-back ride."

If you are suffering from neck or back pain, acupuncture can help manage the pain without drugs or surgery. The original article on The Atlantic can be found here. The study in PDF format by Surgical Technology International can be found here.

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