Text Neck: A Condition that Affects People Who Text and Use Technology a Lot
Doctor Dean Fishman is a chiropractic physician from Plantation (Florida) who is responsible for the trademark "text neck". This doctor has declared for foxnews.com that people who use technology and text a lot can endanger their health. According to Dr. Fishman, "text neck" is a condition that is spread globally at epidemic rates and it really has an impact on the way our bodies will grow from now on. He explains how this works using two x-ray images: one of a normal spine and one of a spine that was already affected by the condition.
Is There Any Evidence?
There is evidence. In the first x-ray there is a red line that represents a normal curvature of the spine. In the second one, the perching forward of the primary bones is accentuated by the red line. Dr. Fishman thinks that the second x-ray represents an abnormal instance of the spine and that "text neck" causes side effects like headaches, arthritis and pain in the neck, arms and shoulders.
Studies and Statistics
According to a study from Pew Research, almost 8 Americans out of 10 send text messages using their mobile phones. Another study published by IDC (a tech research company) suggested that seventy-nine percent of people between the age of 18 and 44 have a smartphone with them twenty-two hours daily. Statistics from CTIA- The Wireless Association show that only in the last year, United States citizens have sent 1.91 trillion text messages.
In reality, the problem is not just related to texting and reading messages, as it also involves gaming. Statistics show that 52 percent of children of up to eight years old spend 43 minutes daily on mobile phone toys. This means our kids spend five additional hours weekly in a posture that causes back and neck pains to them.
The Side Effects of the Posture
You are in the "text neck" posture when you perform activities like texting, typing and reading. Your back is stretching out during this time and ligaments become weak in the long term. Just as a physical therapist from Mississippi by the name of Dr. Brian Kirby has said, the effects of these activities are: nerves are compressing, you experience tingling and burning sensations down your arms and you also experience a bulging of your discs.
What Can Be Done?
On the other hand, some people say that technology will inevitably be a part of humanity in the future. Fishman also said that cell phones work now like an extension of the human body. The general advice against the negative effects of mobile phones is to stay away from these gadgets from time to time. The problem is that it is becoming harder every day to apply these tips, because we are becoming more and more dependent on technology.
Dr. Fishman stated that the dangers to our health can increase if we do nothing about it. Luckily, he has found a way to overcome this issue: he has developed an application for mobile phones called Text Neck Indicator, which can be able to educate people on the condition. This application actually indicates you how to correctly hold your mobile phone. When the position of the user is wrong, the user is alerted in real time. A green light in the top corner of the display will be on when the position is correct (the viewing angle). If the position is not right, the light turns red. The application can be downloaded for Android and other platforms.