The average American checks their phone an average of once every 12 minutes. That totals up to 80 times a day. Us moms probably check our phones way more than that! In this day in age, when our phones are our calendars, emails, timers, and many other forms of communication, there is no way around not looking at our phones.
As a physical therapist, I see many patients with neck pain that can only get worse if not addressed immediately. It is something we should even be aware of in our children. I’m seeing patients younger and younger with neck pain and pore posture.
The weight of our head is a critical factor for neck pain. Our necks are made to support 10-12 pounds in a neutral position, which is a balanced position directly over our necks. When texting on the phone, it is common to bend the head forward and look down at a 45- or 60-degree angle, which places about 50 to 60 pounds of force on the neck.
The neck is not able to withstand this amount of pressure over a prolonged period. This can start to cause stiffness or sharp pains in the neck, eventually leading to something more severe, like osteoarthritis or cervical degeneration.
Ways we can prevent this from happening is using better posture when we look at our phones by holding our phone up closer to eye level. There are also great stretches you can do for a neck while waiting at a red light or while brushing your teeth.
It is best to do each stretch 3 times, holding for 20-30 seconds.