“Spine surgeons are noticing an increase in patients with neck and upper back pain, likely related to poor posture during prolonged smartphone use, according to a recent report,” Carolyn Crist reports for Reuters.Some patients, particularly young patients who shouldn’t yet have back and neck issues, are reporting disk hernias and alignment problems, the study authors write in The Spine Journal.”

“‘In an X-ray, the neck typically curves backward, and what we’re seeing is that the curve is being reversed as people look down at their phones for hours each day,’ said study coauthor Dr. Todd Lanman, a spinal neurosurgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,” Crist reports. “‘By the time patients get to me, they’re already in bad pain and have disc issues,’ he told Reuters Health. ‘The real concern is that we don’t know what this means down the road for kids today who use phones all day.'”

“Lanman and co-author Dr. Jason Cuellar, an orthopedic spine surgeon at Cedars-Sinai, write that people often look down when using their smartphones, particularly when texting as compared to browsing online or watching videos. Previous studies have also found that people hold their necks at around 45 degrees, and it becomes even worse as they sit, versus standing, the study team writes,” Crist reports. “Lanman and Cuellar suggest simple lifestyle changes to relieve the stress from the ‘text neck’ posture. They recommend holding cell phones in front of the face, or near eye level, while texting. They also suggest using two hands and two thumbs to create a more symmetrical and comfortable position for the spine.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hold your iPhone in front of your face near eye level while texting?

Goodbye, Text Neck; hello, Gorilla Arm!