Technology Impacts Spine Health

Technology is a good thing, but not necessarily all that great for your spinal health – especially when it comes to your neck and upper spine. If you’re reading this on a mobile device right now, take a moment to check your posture. Is your back slightly hunched? Are your arms outstretched? Are you bending your head down to read the screen? If so, then you’ve discovered the problem.

It’s In Your Head

The average human head weighs roughly 10-11 pounds. The only time you really “feel” the weight of your head is when you glance down to, say, look at your smartphone when you get a text. If you happen to do this a lot, you’re putting an extra 10-11 pounds of pressure at the point where your spine connects to your head. According to Beverly Hills spine surgeons and medical experts, this increases wear and tear on joints, tendons and muscles in the process.

Sacrificing Proper Posture

Research suggests that young adults are reporting more instances of back and neck discomfort. Part of the reason for this may be the fact that posture is often sacrificed in the name of technology when you do things like hunch slightly to read a text message or play a round of Candy Crush Saga with a buddy while waiting for the bus. All this misalignment of the spine isn’t good for long-term spinal health.

What You Can Do

A few tips from our board-certified spine physicians:

  • Don’t use your mobile device for long-term activities – instead, sit at a table or desk and place the device in front of you or on a support stand or switch to your laptop.
  • Raise your phone to look at it when receiving a text, checking emails, playing a game or calling.
  • Use a headset to carry on conversations without the need to hold your phone towards your ear for long periods of time.

More research is coming out citing technology as an additional source contributing to neck and back pain. Yet, if you are living with severe back or neck pain, be sure to schedule an appointment with a specialist or physician to ensure that proper treatment can be sought.