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June 19, 2017 07:59 PM

Checking Your Phone Can Lead To Neck Strain

Thanks to technology we can access just about anything on our smart phones. Unfortunately that means we spend a lot of time looking down at our screens.

We spend a lot of time looking down at our phones, waiting for important calls and scrolling through social media. The position many of us sit in while we stare at our screens could cause serious physical problems.

"It's still a habit, like I'll catch myself just get comfortable and I'll catch myself just like this," teacher Molly Grady said

Looking down at your phone for a long period of time can strain muscles in your back and neck and even cause a double chin.

"They'll be times I can feel the double chin or I can feel the back kind of. They'll be times I'll be sitting too long and I'm like I need to breath and pull it up here," Grady said

Doctor James Brunz with the Orthopedic Institute sees it all the time. He says people come in every day complaining of neck and back pain without even realizing their texting habits are to blame.

"There are a lot of muscles and ligaments that are important with stability of the spine and those are prone to problems when you hold your neck in an abnormal position for a long period of time," Brunz said

If you have aches and pains, Brunz says it's not too late to correct your bad habits. 
He says to think of it like your computer station at work.

"Have their computer screen adjusted so that are not in that abnormal position. It would be the same thing with your phone so instead of always looking down, try to hold your phone up so your neck is in a more neutral position," Brunz said

Brunz says while some conditions can be reversed, some can be permanent if you wait too long to change your smartphone habits. He says it is possible to develop arthritis from bad texting posture so he recommends keeping your neck in a neutral position whenever you are on your phone.

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