Smartphones have taken over our lives and we can’t imagine life without them. However, based on new research and health information, it is important to be smarter than ever about smartphone use.
Neck & Spinal Problems
Many 100 Year Lifestyle Affiliate chiropractors are finding that long-term smartphone usage is having a detrimental effect on the health of their patients’ spine and nervous system, leading to many types of pain syndromes and health problems. The nerves in the neck directly or indirectly supply vital messages to the muscles of the head and neck, as well as all of the organs and glands of the body. If the messages are altered due to compression, the symptoms can be mild to non-existent initially, but then come on like a freight train when you least expect it.
Research out of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research in Sweden found that 90 percent of the participants held their head in a flexed position when texting or playing games on their smartphone. According to research by Dr. Ken Hansraj, the head, which normally weighs around 10 pounds, can exert a force of up to 60 pounds on the neck when it is tilted forward at an angle of 60 degrees. This repetitive chronic stress can cause new alignment issues in the spine as well as aggravate pre-existing ones.
Wedging your phone between your head and shoulder can make the problems even worse. Instead, connect it to a headset or other hands-free device, and when suitable, use the speaker phone setting. Better yet, arrange a face to face or webcam connection to communicate.
Wrist & Elbow Problems
Good Housekeeping reported that carpal tunnel syndrome is affecting more people from overuse of smart phones. Inflammation in the elbow can cause pain and numbness in the ring finger and pinky finger. It now has its own diagnosis called “Cellphone Elbow”.
Many of our Affiliates are finding that because of this long-term smartphone use, more and more patients need to have their elbows and wrists evaluated and adjusted as an additional service in addition to their spine. And while the chiropractic adjustments are very effective, being smart about limiting your smartphone use and how you hold it can prevent the problem from recurring.
Smartphones are the Information and Technology System that enables a constant clear stream between you and your personal, business and global connections. Similarly, our nervous system is the IT system that keeps your body working properly. Chiropractic checkups can detect issues before they are able to develop into something more serious. Be smart about your body’s IT system.