Everybody’s doing it. Texting, playing cell phone or video games, using an iPad for long periods of time … does any of this sound like you or your kids? Tilting your head down for activities like these is all too common in today’s world, but do you know that it can lead to severe spine and health issues?
No symptoms? “I feel fine,” you say. Good news, but not necessarily great news. Little by little, repeated or continuous bending (flexion) of the head downward can cause cumulative trauma, resulting in damage such as long-term muscle strain, herniated discs and pinched nerves. Why? For every inch of downward flexion, the weight of the head on the spine is increased by 10 pounds! In addition, repeated or continuous downward flexion of the head tends to flatten the normal neck curve, which can result in disc compression and early arthritis.
Small changes now make a big difference later. To lessen the impact of downward flexion of the head, instead of tilting your head downward, hold your cell phone in front of you, close to eye level. Make sure the top of your iPad is at eye level, so you are looking at the screen straight on. And take breaks! You will thank yourself later.