Technology is a Pain in the Neck

We rely on technology on a daily basis, but it can take a toll on your body.

"In the old days you might watch TV for an hour or two.  Now they spend the whole day on these things," Steve Aune, a Wichita Falls Chiropractor said.

A study done by Surgical Technology International shows texting may be hurting your back and your neck.

"Years ago we used to call it student syndrome because then we had books, you know," he said.

However, now physical therapists call it "Text Neck."

Aune said, "When your head is forward all the time they muscles in the back are working extra hard to try and compensate for that."

Short term effects can simply be a pain in your neck.

"You go to bend your head up and you go, oh my gosh," Aune said, "You know, stiff, sore, just lock down."

You can also experience numbness and tingling in your hands and arms.  He said you can also get headaches and eye strains.

Long term effects could be permanent changes to your posture, nerve damage, and spine damage.

The study illustrates what happens when mobile users bend their heads at 15, 30, 45, and 90 degrees.  The average human head weighs 10 pounds in a neutral position when your ears are over your shoulders.  For every inch you tilt your head forward, the pressure on your spine doubles.  So, if you are looking at a smartphone in your lap, your neck is holding what feels like 20 to 30 pounds.

So a simple solution is to be aware of your body.  Think about your posture.  Consider holding your phone or table at a less training angle.

“You can use heat on the muscles to relax the muscles,” Aune said, “Yoga or stretching exercises are good as well.”

Most important, take frequent breaks when using your phone, table, or computer.  Physical therapists said it is a good idea to get up every 20 minutes and walk around to help with blood flow.

, Newschannel 6