SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Doctors say there's an epidemic sweeping the nation and it's getting worse. Doctors are calling it text neck.
"Text neck is where people are hunched over looking at their electronic devices, hours at a time, really putting an extreme load on the spine," said Dr. Erik Shaw, Sheperd Pain Institute in California.
A person's head, on average, weighs about 10 to 12 pounds, and a recent study published in the Journal Surgical Technology International shows exactly how much strain we're putting on our neck. If you lean 15 degrees forward, it's as if your head weighs 27 pounds. If you lean 30 degrees, it's as if your head weighs 40 pounds. If you lean 45 degrees, it's 49 pounds. When you're hunched over at a 60 degree angle, like most of us are many times throughout the day, you're putting a 60 pound strain on your neck. All that weight is bad, and it's putting extra pressure on discs in the neck and spine.
So what can do you do? Doctors say you can do simple exercises by squeezing your shoulder blades together. You can also practice keeping your neck back and keeping your ears over your shoulders.