Smartphones are changing the way we live, but it’s not always for the better. Check out how excessive use of this handheld technology is slowly causing our bodies to deteriorate:
- Text neck. The average human head weighs about 12 pounds, but when the neck is leaning forward, the pressure on your spine increases. At a 30-degree angle, there is as much as 40 pounds of pressure on your cervical spine. Spending hours per day looking down at your smartphone can lead to chronic neck pain; a new condition referred to as “text neck”.
- Back pains. You’re doing your back no favors by spending hours hunched over your cell phone. Slouching can add up to 50 pounds of pressure on your spine, and it is estimated that 45% of young people aged 16-24 now suffer from back pain.
- Cell phone elbow. Believe it or not, “cell phone elbow” is now a medical term used to describe cubital tunnel syndrome caused from excessive smartphone use. When you hold your elbow in a flexed position for prolonged periods of time, you compress the ulnar nerve, which can lead to aching, burning, tingling, or numbness in the forearm area.
- Overused fingers. All the texting, swiping, and scrolling can take its toll on the joints and nerves in your hands. More and more reports are surfacing of smartphone users complaining of pain, stiffness, and numbness in their fingers.
- Eye Damage. Smartphones emit a powerful blue light, which is believed to have a harmful effect on the back of the eyes, leading to macular degeneration. Also worth noting: short-sightedness has increased by 35% over the past 20 years.
- Sleeping Problems. Using your phone before bed is an especially bad idea. In addition to damaging your eyes, light from the screen can disrupt your sleep cycle by causing your brain to stop producing melatonin; the hormone that makes you tired.
- Mental Effects. The effects of smartphones aren’t just physical. Excessive use of smartphones has been shown to trigger emotional problems such as stress, anxiety, and depression.
If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, put down your smartphone and talk to a doctor. Residents of Fairfield County who suffer from bone or joint pain can find help from the orthopedic professionals at OSG. As southern Connecticut’s largest and most experienced orthopedic practice, you can trust us to fix virtually every bone and joint in your body. Schedule an appointment online, or call (203) 337-2600.