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How to Hold A Bowling Ball on Your Head

How to Hold A Bowling Ball on Your Head 


If someone would tell you to carry a bowling ball on your head, it would
definitely be an absurd request. However, recent research has shown that
the negative effects of poor head and neck posture is similar to carrying a
bowling ball on your head. Nowadays, computer and cell phone use comes with
a forward head posture. Especially as our present day tasks are heavily
dependent on technology, we carry ourselves in horrible postures for longer
periods of time. A survey in 2015 showed that 53% of people would choose
their cellphone as the most valuable item they would save in a house fire.
This dependency and frequent use comes with a number of health risks to
many.

Using devices more commonly causes the head to be held in forward flexion
(the head and neck now positioned more in front of the body. There are a
number of coined terms that describe this posture as it has become more
prevalent in today’s society, such as tech or “text neck”. These describe a
general population, but is a growing epidemic most especially in younger
populations and at a concerning young age.

A research study published in 2014 expressed that people spend up to an
average of 2-4 hours a day in this particular position, especially when
reading or communicating through their devices. This means that people are
spending upwards of 700-1400 hours in this posture per year, which means
this much pressure on your neck/spine per year. Surveys showed high school
students spend as much as 5000 additional hours per year, and this is on
top of the stress that heavy backpacks can put on their spine. The degree
that the head moves forward is also another determinant of stress on the
spine. This means the bones, muscles, joints and discs of the neck have to
deal with more pressure as the head moves forward. Here are the numbers,
which is ON TOP of the normal weight of the head:

15 degrees of forward head flexion leads to EXTRA 27 pounds of pressure on
the neck.

30 degrees of forward head flexion leads to EXTRA 40 pounds of pressure on
the neck.

60 degrees of forward head flexion leads to EXTRA 60 pounds of pressure on
the neck.

This trauma leads to adding up to four heavy bowling balls worth of
pressure on the neck with each minute that is spent looking down at a
device. Over time this will affect the integrity of the spine and can lead
to wear and tear much earlier than commonly present. This over time leads
to abnormal spinal posture and increased likelihood of degeneration in the
spine.

Your Mississauga Chiropractors see this as a common issue in the patients
coming into the office. The GOOD NEWS is that they have devoted time into
studying and building the expertise to lessen the effects of device
overuse. The study also showed that these abnormal pressures in the neck
can lead to concerns such as lowered levels of good hormones and higher
levels of stress hormones. Chiropractic adjustments help to improve the
overall posture so that these do not becoming ongoing issues for the body
and nervous system. As technology grows rampant in everything that we do
(and it’s not to say that technology is bad!), the need for Chiropractic
and postural improvement grows each and every day. Your brain is dependent
on it!

Especially when everyday demands require us to use devices every day,
sometimes it’s hard to move away from a technologically based habits. But
with proper use, shorter durations and regular postural care, the effects
of device usage can be lessened or prevented.

Here are three key action steps to minimize the risk of spine and neck
stress from technology use:

1) A Chiropractic Adjustment Plan - adjustments reduce wear and tear in the
joints and discs, lower tension in muscles, and improve function of the
nervous system

2) Good Posture Habits - utilize tools and habits that support spinal
curves and posture when sitting

3) Head Positioning - keep devices elevated when texting, especially at eye
level, or viewing to keep the head in a neutral position

If you have any questions, or would like to check how your spine and
posture has coped with ongoing device use, do not hesitate to contact us at
(905)821-4951. Your Mississauga Chiropractors are here to help!

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