Chiropractors Caution That Texting Causes Serious Problems For Teens
Posted by BrowserBoy on Jul 7, 2010 in Finance
Cell phones, once considered a luxury item, are now a mainstay of modern life. most parents see them as a crucial part of keeping kids safe as they can contact or be contacted day or night. While this solves some problems, it raises others.
For today's teen, using their phone to send text messages is a way of life. Because text messages are seen as less intrusive than phone calls, many teens would rather text than talk. They rely on it as instant communication when talking is taboo and email too slow. In short texting is very popular.
Consider these recently posted facts by Christina Warren on the Mashable Blog,
"75% of teens have cellphones, up from 45% back in 2004.
Thirty-three percent of teens send more than 100 texts per day.
Teenage boys send an average of 30 text messages per day and girls send an average of 80."
Because so many teens are texting, it is becoming common for them to experience joint problems at young ages. Warn your child about the dangers of continuous texting and texting pain. Let them know that if they have pain or swelling in their joints, it is serious. In addition to obvious problems with hands and wrists, Chiropractors are noticing serious spinal changes as well. The forward head position that most people assume as they use electronic devices puts considerable pressure on their spine and over time can change the curvature of their neck. Did you know that each inch of forward head posture can increase the weight of your head on your spine by an additional 10 pounds? That means if your teen looks down as he texts, it adds 20 to 30 pounds of pressure on his neck. Over time, this added pressure can flatten or reverse the normal C curve in his neck leading to decreased immune function, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain or numbness and tingling in his arms. even worse, this deformity in the spine pulls the rest of the spine out of alignment affecting every system in the body. Clearly we need to warn our teens about what they are doing to themselves.
No one expects teens to give up their phones but parents should ask them to think about how much they are using them and consider cutting back. They should also think about their posture and how it might be affecting them over time. our world has changed and we have to learn how to be safe as we adapt to it.
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Dr. Dean Fishman had his "ah-ha" moment talking to the mother of a young patient in his office in Plantation, Fla.
As the patient was sitting in the corner of the exam room, typing away on her phone with her head hung low and her body basically curled up into a ball, Fishman was giving her mother a clinical diagnosis. When he was explaining her daughters loss of a normal cervical curve the term just came out- "Text Neck".
"The patient's mother had a visceral reaction, sat up straight and started speaking very matter-of-factly about her daughters texting habits," said Fishman.
After determining a schedule of care for the patient that included exercises and changing the angle at which the patient viewed here phone he realized he was on to something.
"This patient was a great patient because the term text neck made sense to her."
He did case studies on 10 patients in his office, taking them through a care plan that included pre and post x-rays, digital muscle testing, and range-of-motion testing. Patients were suffering with neck pain from texting. The Text Neck Institute was born.
"I want to teach my patients to live with mobile technology," said Fishman.
In text neck has turned into a practice builder for Fishman, whose reported a 30% growth in his practice and well as developing a smartphone app to monitor his patients progress.
The $2.99 app (currently available in the Android Marketplace, an iPhone edition is coming soon) tracks the viewing angle of the phone and alerts the patient the angle is less than ideal. The app runs in the background as patients go about their daily tasks and alerts them regardless of the app they are currently running.
Check out the news coverage on CBS 6 in Miami, Fla.