Reach a certain age, and you’re almost guaranteed to be battling some neck and back pain. But it’s not age alone that can trigger a literal pain in your neck.
Neck and back problems can also pop up because of certain everyday habits. And it’s one habit in particular that nearly ALL of us now share that could be the worst pain producer of them all.
- Make your neck stiff.
- Leave your back sore.
- It may even trigger extra risks you’d never think to link to neck and back pain, including circulatory problems, poor digestion, knee pain, and heartburn.
And ALL of these problems could begin with something you least expect…
With your cellphone.
How your PHONE triggers neck and back pain
It’s not just the teenagers glued to their cellphones these days. It’s all of us.
We just can’t put the darned things down. And it’s not all bad, of course.
You can see pics of the grandkids, check the news and weather, or even find directions home. And of course, simply scrolling through Facebook to check in on loved ones or to have a little laugh over the latest funny photos is a fun way to pass the time.
Everywhere you look … on buses and trains, in waiting rooms, at movie theaters before the film begins (and sometimes even during) … people are gazing down at the warm glow of their cellphones.
I’ve even seen people staring at their screens while walking down the street, which is a disaster waiting to happen.
But even if your phone never sends you stumbling into a wall or wandering out into traffic, it could still do some lasting damage. Because new research reveals how the constant neck-craning could set the stage for a host of health problems, including that back pain of yours.
A new analysis done by Orlando Health’s National Training Center finds that leaning your neck forward just an inch adds 10 pounds of pressure to your shoulders.
That means if you’re hunched over looking down at the phone, you could have the equivalent of 30… 40… 50… pounds, pressing down on you. It’s really no wonder your neck is aching, and you’re fighting off back pain.
And the damage doesn’t end there.
As I mentioned earlier, according to Orlando Health, keeping your neck at that angle could lead to other health issues, including poor circulation, heartburn, and digestive problems.
The SMART way to use a smartphone
Those findings alone are enough to make you want to chuck your cellphone into a drawer and never look at it again. But the report doesn’t even touch on some of the OTHER know health issues linked to smartphones.
Light from LED screens, for example, can mess with your brain at night so you can’t sleep. And don’t even get me started on the potential dangers of cellphone radiation.
But don’t ditch your smartphone just yet. If you’re like most of us and using your phone more and more, simply practice some basic safety and posture habits instead.
You can reduce your neck and back pain, and make using it a little bit safer, with a couple of easy changes.
Start with propping the screen up at eye level when you can. Some phone cases act as stands so you can place the phone on a table and use it without the strain.
You can chat this way, too, by switching on the speakerphone. And as an added bonus, you will be exposing your brain to less damaging radiation.
If you’re still leaning down to scroll, limit your time. Put the phone away, get up, stretch, and do something else for a little while. The break will help head off that dreaded back pain.
And if you find that you get so absorbed that you forget to take breaks, try using the built-in timer on your phone. You can set it to remind you to put down the phone every 15 minutes or so.