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"Text Neck" Is Officially A Thing, And It's Wreaking Havoc On Your Spine

If you're reading this on your phone, maybe get a hot compress first...

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Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, http://M.D. / Via wordpress.com

Go find a fully grown boxer. The dog, not a sweaty, gloved dude in trunks. Now imagine that cute little guy is strapped around your neck like a medallion for hours and hours a day.

Congrats, you now have a pretty accurate picture of the kind of damage many of us are doing to our spines on a daily basis.

Floating around the medical community colloquially as "text neck," the condition is essentially excessive damage done to your cervical spine caused by prolonged time spent texting with your head down.

Now, the average human head is around twelve pounds. That's about the weight of an average-sized cat, but certainly not the 60 pounds the average boxer weighs. But as the angle of your neck bends forward and down, weight on the cervical spine begins to increase exponentially.

At a 15 degree angle, the weight experienced shoots up to 27 pounds. By 45 degrees, we're already up to 49 pounds. 60 degrees and we've finally got our boxer.

In a study headed by Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, it was suggested that there are a hefty amount of health risks we face by subjecting our necks to this weight. From degeneration to early spinal deterioration and the need for corrective surgery, the damage done to your neck can be pretty severe over time.

And just how much time are we talking about here? The study, citing another study from Harvard, asserts that your normal Average Joe texter spends a whopping 700-1400 hours with their heads down per year.

Yeesh.

It's "an epidemic," told Hansraj in an interview with The Washington Post. "While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over."

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