Textaloptheosis…I Just Made That Up…Neck and Spine Issues From Texting/Phone Usage

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Yes, Textaloptheosis. Ever heard of it? Sure, you have. You’ve heard it hear. Don’t ask questions.

The point of this medical name game was to just mention an issue that I just heard about on the playground that seems to really be picking up steam as more and more people are always glued to their smartphones. Sorry Apple, RIM, and Samsung…I don’t mean to call you out. But still, it’s something to think about.

Consider these  recently posted facts just about teenage kids by Christina Warren on the Mashable Blog,

75% of teens have cellphones, up from 45% back in 2004.
Thirty-three percent of teens send more than 100 texts per day.
Teenage boys send an average of 30 text messages per day and girls send an average of 80.

Now, you and I…we have all sorts of  “old people” problems. Yes, I know, we’re not all old and people live to 100 regularly. I get it…yoga, Pilates, South Beach, Jamba Juice…you got it going on. That being said, it’s an undeniable fact that as the years progress, you are slowly breaking down just a wee bit more than the year before. But enough about our old butts…

Kids, on the other hand, are in the prime of their physical lives. They run, they jump, they don’t sleep, they eat fried foods like we breath oxygen. Nothing seems to phase them. Yet, they are still in their formative years. Things can over time have negative effects on them.

Because so many teens are texting and emailing and sufring the web on their phones, it is becoming common for them to experience joint and spine problems at young ages.  Warn your child about the dangers of being on their phones from sun up to sunset.  Let them know that if they have pain or swelling in their joints, it is serious and should not be ignored.

Carpal tunnel and other issues with the hand and wrist or, like this woman at the playground’s niece, issues with their spines become TOO STRAIGHT becuase they are always hunching their heads over the phone!

The forward head position that most people assume as they use electronic devices puts considerable pressure on their spine and over time can change the curvature of their neck.  Leaning your head forward creates an enormous amount of pressure on your neck, something in the 10 pounds of pressure range, per inch. Looking down at your phone must mean 20-30 pounds of pressure easily.  That means if your teen looks down as he texts, it adds 20 to 30 pounds of pressure on his neck.  Over time, this added pressure can lead to decreased immune function, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain or numbness and tingling in his arms.

I know they’re going to blow you off and think you’re crazy, but it should be considered and mentioned. It’s not something to just blow off just because it’s a relatively new malady.

Something to think about.

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