Your smartphone can injure your neck!
Smartphones and tablets have changed our world in ways that we had never even dreamt off. We are now constantly in a state of being connected. No doubt using these helps us manage millions of everyday things, from ordering groceries online, handling appointments, sending mails, scrolling through social media and catching up with friends all from a small screen. This however, puts users at risk for a condition termed ‘Tech Neck’
What is ‘Tech Neck’?
This is a condition that may cause pain and injuries such as disc injury, muscular strain and even arthritis changes due to the habit of craning your neck as you stare into a smartphone, tablet or other handheld devices. When you do this on a regular basis, you will find that it puts your head in an unnatural head position which increases the stress on the neck, upper back and arms. You might wonder how something small can really impact you but it's the duration and repetition of working against the body mechanics that does the damage.
Why does this happen?
Normally, the human head when kept in an upright position weighs 10 to 12 pounds. However, when we bend down at a 45-degree angle which is what usually happens when looking at the smartphone screen, the weight and pressure on the cervical spine move up to nearly 50 pounds. This is a far heavier load than it's designed to carry.
How do you protect yourself?
Do stretching exercises that keep your neck and upper back muscles warm and flexible. This helps to reduce the risk of contracting pain and injury. Take breaks from your screen. A 3-minute break every 10 to 15 minutes helps. Maintain a good posture. Hold your phone at eye level to reduce strain. While sitting, support your arms and elbows by placing them on a table or armrest. If you are home relax and rest yourself on pillows as you use it.