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Phone Problems

According to Dr. Paul Aaron, chiropractic physician and certified acupuncturist,too much time hunched over our phones and we risk “Txt Neck,” among other problems.  A few weeks ago, Dr. Aaron got the new iPhone 6, like many others, and had to remember hunching over and straining our eyes to use our devices can cause health problems.

Using electronic devices can put a strain on your neck, back, and eyes.

Using electronic devices can put a strain on your neck, back, and eyes.

Txt Neck

Back and neck problems occur as a result of too much use of our electronic devices. We all know the feeling of  experiencing a little pain when we stretch our necks and backs out after texting. And now with even more video watching and game playing, craning your neck to view the screen of your devices for extended periods of time could cause headaches and even arthritis. The average human head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds, so all of that weight put at an angle over your phone makes it harder to hold up. That can increase the likelihood of pain and stiffness that can shoot down the shoulders, arms, and wrists.

Texter’s Thumb

It’s no surprise that texting can take a toll on our thumbs. Too much texting can cause sores and blisters, as well as pain, numbness, and discomfort in the base of thumbs. These problems, called repetitive strain injuries or repetitive motion disorders, are sometimes minor, but they can also cause more serious problems. One hand surgeon said he had to have some of his patients put in splints or on medicine in order to help fix their thumbs!

Earbud Illness

Constantly using earbuds to listen to your favorite music or watch those hilarious Vines can cause some problems. Plugging up your ears for long periods of time can allow bacteria to thrive because they like to live in warm moist places. The bacteria is usually not harmful, but some of them can lead to some serious infections and illnesses. Not to mention that loud music can cause hearing loss.

Other Problems

Check out these results from a study done by Harris International. The study found that of the Americans in the study –

– 30% had back pain

– 27% had neck pain

– 24% had headaches

– 21% had wrist pain

– 11% had carpal tunnel syndrome

– 9% had insomnia

Though it might seem like most of the people in the study were doing just fine, our dependence on our mobile devices is only getting worse.

What can you do?

Dr. Aaron says there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of experiencing any one of these problems:

– Take breaks! Look out the window into the distance as far as you can. This relaxes the eye muscles that pull your eyes toward the middle when you are looking at close things.

– Use the photographer’s “Human Tripod” by placing your elbows on your ribs and holding the phone up to your eyes and mouth, which rests your arms, neck and back.

– Use a plug-in mic and ear phones sometimes.

–  Get regular spinal check-ups with your chiropractor. That can help catch any problems before they develop into anything serious.

Moral of the story – take a break from exploring your new iPhone to save your thumbs, neck, back, and ears. And come by the Health Center of Hillsborough to make sure no problems develop in your spine and body.

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