Study indicates that texting can lead to a warped spine


The current issue of the “Journal of Surgery Technology International” reports that the way we hunch over our mobile phones to text can add up to 60 pounds of weight to our spines, potentially causing spine and neck pain. Spine experts declared that the way people text can add weight to their spines, causing back and neck problems.

“The posture we use on our smart phones adds undue stress to the neck and spine,” said Ian Armstrong, MD, a neuro-spine surgeon in Los Angeles and medical director of the Southern California Spine Institute in Culver City. “Over time, this posture could lead to pain, deteriorated muscles in the neck and spine and could result in the need for surgery down the road.”

According to the paper, a computer model of the spine was used to calculate the weight of the head during different tilt angles.

An adult head weighs 10-12 pounds in the neutral or upright position. As the head tilts forward, the forces seen by the neck raises to 27 pounds at 15 degrees and at 60 degrees – the common posture of texting on a mobile phone – the forces can rise to 60 pounds.

“We need to remember to un-hunch when we use our phones so that our head stays in a neutral position and causes much less stress on the neck and spine,” Dr. Armstrong said. “Look straight ahead at your phone instead of tilting downward and it could save you from pain and suffering down the road.”