Symptom: Ouch Diagnosis: Smartphone
The smartest thing that you can do with your smartphone is……stop looking at it. Wait, what? Did you know that the average user looks at their Smartphone on average 150 times a day? That is a lot considering you probably don’t get that many calls or texts. Of course, there are ten million users for a Smartphone but they all have one thing in common, the habit in which we look at them.
We feel the buzz coming from our phone tucked in our pocket. Immediately we grab it and see what the cyber world has sent us. Our necks flex forward and our head goes down. Until the advent of excessive phone/tablet usage, you had no reason to be in and hold this position unless you were studying for that huge exam.
So this may be the normal posture for Smartphone usage but it is nowhere close to natural posture or even being okay for you. Is it okay for you or am I just puffing up an issue because I am huge on spine and posture health? Think about it this way. You are probably stronger in one hand over the other because you have used that had a whole lot more than the other. You have trained it. The same is true about your posture, you can train it. So if you are flexing and looking down and your phone 150 or more times a day, what are you telling your body? Essentially that a flexed neck is what you want. Look around at the people around you. Is their head on top of their shoulders or in front of them? Have someone look at you from the side. What do they see?
Are you beginning to understand where that neck pain, pain between your shoulders and headaches are coming from? They even have a name for it now. Tech Neck. It’s a real thing. Google it. Essentially, your body is saying please stop what you are doing and get us back to normal.
So let’s be real for a moment. You aren’t going to stop using your Smartphone and neither am I. So, what do we do? For starters, we decrease the amount of time we look at that phone. Then we can make sure that we are doing something to increase good posture in our lives. This could mean a specific exercise program, eliminating other habits (i.e. sitting all day) or even chiropractic to help overcome some spinal challenges you’ve been carrying around.
Or your can do nothing. Just keep in mind what this can lead to; pain, fatigue and ugly posture.