How Our Devices Are Affecting Our Posture
Smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers and devices have made life more convenient for most of us, but they’re also causing some problems when it comes to posture. When you stare at your phone or device frequently, or for extended periods of time, the way you hold your neck and head can end up affecting your spine. These are some of the ways that these devices can damage your upper and lower spine.
Many people have their heads tilted down when using their phone or tablet. Tilting your head forward puts more strain on the muscles in your neck and upper spine. Moving your head by as little as an inch forward adds roughly an extra ten pounds to the amount of weight your neck has to hold up. The more you tilt your head, the greater the weight is on your neck. Doing this on a regular basis can end up causing neck pain and soreness.
Lower Back Pain
Holding your handheld device while walking around or standing isn’t the only way to hurt your back and neck. Sitting in a chair staring at a screen for long periods of time can also cause damage. When you sit at a desk or table holding your phone or staring at your tablet, you might find yourself hunched over without realizing it. Sitting in this posture rather than sitting up straight strains the muscles in your lower back, which can cause soreness and stiffness. You might feel it more when you stand up after sitting for a long time.
Upper Back and Shoulder Pain
Sitting or standing hunched over while staring at your device can also result in pain. When you lean down to see your device better, you can strain the muscles in your shoulders and upper back. Hunching over like this regularly, especially for several hours at a time, can lead to stiff and sore muscles in your upper back and shoulders.
There are ways for you to lower the risk of damage to your spine and neck while you use smartphones and other devices, even if you use them on a regular basis. When you are staring at a screen while sitting or standing, make sure that your posture is as straight as possible. If you catch yourself leaning down or slouching make sure to sit or stand up straight to reduce pressure on your neck and spine. You should also hold portable devices up higher than normal so that you’re not leaning down to see them. It’s also important to take breaks from looking at your device from time to time, which helps minimize the amount of strain you’re putting on your back and neck.
At Capital City Neurosurgery, we offer minimally invasive procedures that can help relieve persistent pain. Please call us today to set up a consultation!