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Health Alert: Texting Adds 60-lbs of Force to the Spine

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Assessment of Stresses About The Cervical Spine: Caused by Position of the Head” was published in Surgical Technology International. This is the FIRST study to look at the significance of the position of a person’s head while using a mobile device. On average, people spend more than two hours each day looking down at their mobile devices. This common neck positioning can cause the forces to the neck to increase to nearly five times the normal amount, adding pressure and stress to the neck and spine that can lead to irreversible damage and might cause a significant uptick in spinal surgeries in the near future.

Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, New York Orthopedic Surgeon and author of the international bestseller Keys to an Amazing Life: Secrets of the Cervical Spine, released startling data about the significance of the position of a person’s head while using a mobile device. On average, people spend more than two hours each day looking down at their mobile devices. This common neck positioning can cause the forces to the neck to increase to nearly five times the normal amount, adding pressure and stress to the neck and spine that can lead to irreversible damage.

Using Finite Element Assessment modeling to evaluate the head and neck, Dr. Kenneth Hansraj and biomechanical colleagues studied the forces about the neck as the head tilts forward. We made the calculations using neck + head, which gave an average weight of 13.2 pounds. The center of mass was located 16cm above C7 or 15cm from the top of the skull.

The results show that the weight seen by the spine dramatically increases when flexing the neck at varying degrees. An adult head weighs 10-12 pounds in the neutral position. As the head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck can surge to an alarming 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees.

If an individual loses the natural curve of their upper spine, it could lead to major neck problems in the future. In addition, Dr. Hansraj believes that bad posture leads to an array of health problems, including chronic neck and back pain, acquired conditions and diseases, lowered self-esteem and depression.

“It’s important for people to take the necessary steps now to avoid any future health risks,” said Dr. Hansraj. “While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over.”

Learn more here at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgyAAnZdNa4

Kenneth K. Hansraj, M.D., is a spinal and orthopedic surgeon. He believes in whole body wellness, preventative care and that the spine is a principal indicator of general health impacted by “human software and hardware.” Dr. Ken is the author of the internationally bestselling book, Keys to an Amazing Life: Secrets of the Cervical Spine. He is board-certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, the American Board of Minimally Invasive Spinal Medicine and Surgery, and the National Board of Medical Examiners. Frequently called upon by the media for expert opinion and advice, Dr. Ken has been featured in Prevention, Shape, The Doctors Radio Sirius XM and more media news.

 

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