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Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused by Technology

You don’t have to be a Bend Oregon chiropractor to see how the human cervical spine has changed with the advent of the cell phone. Walk by any high school cafeteria, any line to get into a movie or ballgame or anyone waiting for their friend to arrive and you’ll see the extreme stress put onto the cervical spine. We’re all guilty of looking down into our cell phones, tablets and computers.

A study published by the Surgical Technology International Journal titled “Assessments of Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused by Posture and Position of the Head,” evaluated forward head flexion stress on the human spine and the corresponding bodily functions. The study found these results regarding the stresses on the soft and hard tissues in the cervical spine caused by cell phone use.

Stresses in the Cervical Spine

The study assessed the effects of the head tilting forward into a worsening posture on the cervical spine.

  • The weight carried by the spine increases when flexing the head forward at varying degrees
  • At a neutral position, the head weighs 10 to 12 pounds. As the head tilts forward, the forces held by the neck increase exponentially – from 27 pounds at 15 degrees all the way up to 60 pounds at 60 degrees
  • Stresses on the neck include the ligaments, tendons and muscles
  • Loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine leads to increased stress on the spine
  • Stresses can lead to early wear, tear, degeneration and possible surgeries.

According to the 2014 study, people spend an average of two to four hours a day with their heads tilted forward reading and texting on their smartphones and other devices. The additional stress of tilting forward to look at handheld devices accounts for 700-1400 hours a year of excess stress on the cervical spine.

Reducing Stresses on the Cervical Spine with a Bend Oregon Chiropractor

With how engrained in our lives smartphones and devices have become, it seems nearly impossible to avoid these technologies altogether. In order to reduce stresses on the cervical spine, try making an effort to look at your phone with a neutral spine. By looking at your phone with a neutral spine, you’re decreasing the amount of time you spend hunched over throughout the day. Hunching over your phone causes stresses on your cervical spine, neck, tendons, ligaments and muscles.

A Bend Oregon chiropractor can help return your spine to a healthy and natural curve. Chiropractic care can help realign your cervical spine after the heavy toll of hunching over technology has taken effect. Contact Pangea Chiropractic, your Bend Oregon chiropractor, for more information about treating subluxations within the cervical spine.

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