Today, people very young to very old are suffering from what we call smartphone syndrome. 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 Chiropractors are reporting 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% 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.
Instead of wedging your phone between your head and shoulder which can make the problems even worse, connect it to a headset or other hands-free device and, whenever possible, use the speaker phone setting. Better yet, arrange a face to face or webcam connection.
Wrist and 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.” More and more patients need to have their elbows and wrists evaluated and adjusted as an additional service, in addition to their spine, because of this long-term smartphone use. 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. Your nervous system is the IT system that keeps your body working properly. Be smart about your body’s IT system and keep it working before you develop chronic problems.