“It’s an epidemic. Just look around you. Everybody has their head down.” (Doctor Kenneth Hansraj, New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine)
Any idea how much your own personal, precious, one-on-the-planet head weighs? Well, it happens to weigh about 12 pounds. And your precious neck is designed to carry it around for a lifetime.
But . . . but . . . consider this nifty factoid:
When you bend your neck forward, the stress on your cervical spine grows substantially. At as little as a 15-degree angle, this stress more than doubles to equal about 27 pounds. Bend your neck 15 more degrees and the stress on your neck equals about 40 pounds.
At 60 degrees? Guess what? Your head now weighs the equivalent of 5 times its real weight – about 60 pounds of neck-stress. That’s five full-grown cats clinging to your bangs.
So go ahead – keep staring at your phunny-phone, like countless millions of cell zombies do, for hours and hours on end. Over the course of years your poor posture – appropriately called “text neck” – results in far more repetitive injury to your cervical spine than you would have developed otherwise. And you can look forward to early degeneration and maybe even the joy of spinal column surgery. This, according to research published by Doctor Kenneth Hansraj in the National Library of Medicine. The study was covered on the Surgical Technology International website.
So maybe you can’t envision the extra weight that merely tilting your head causes. Imagine carrying a bag of potatoes around your neck during daylight hours. Legions of cell-zealots in your own neighborhood are hunched over at this very moment – tinkering with social networks and plinking out critically important communications like, “wher u at?” Hundreds of hours every month, needlessly stressing their spines. All indications are that teenagers are the worst offenders, spending thousands of more hours bent over than anybody else. But nearly 60% of adults are well on their way toward this addictive electronic toy scourge, too. When it comes to addictions, grown-ups can be as ridiculous as anybody else.
Medical professionals have been warning us for years, of course. They report that the pressure on your spine doubles for each inch your head bends forward. Doctor Michelle Collie of Rhode Island’s Performance Physical Therapy, reports that she was seeing patients with cellphone-caused neck and back pain as far back as 2009.
Personally, we happen to be an electronic Neanderthal, clinging to the era of the cellusaurus. We stubbornly carry a flip-phone – 12 years old. That’s about 152 in either dog – or phone – years. We rue the day it’s too exhausted to wake up, one last wretched morning, too worn out to flip, ever again. Horrors, that’s gonna be a serious pain.
But at least . . . not in the neck.
Something to think about, wouldn’t you say?
Here’s another look at this latest human goofiness: