12 rules regarding your spine while using mobile phone - ACIBADEM
12 rules regarding your spine while using mobile phone

12 rules regarding your spine while using mobile phone

We spend hours throughout the day with mobile phones, but this behavior is associated with low-back and neck pain, poor posture and even hernia.Follow these recommendations to protect spinal health while using mobile phones or tablets.

Mobile phones can cause hernia

Ever since mobile devices like phones and tablets came into our lives, the duration of pressure on our musculoskeletal systems has increased. This causes cervical and lumbar hernia, pain that causes discomfort, poor posture and nerve entrapments. Most of us spend 2 to 4 hours on average every day bending our heads forward to manage mail, message or social media traffic with our mobile phones. In other word, we add an extra stress of 700 to 1400 hours per year on our cervical spinal column. This figure increases up to approximately 5 thousand hours in high school students. Our spinal column is, in fact, not an appropriate structure to stay at same position for prolonged times.

It even changes weight of head.

It is known that the load on our cervical spine is approximately 4.5 to 5 kg when we keep our head in healthy optimal angle, called the neutral position. When the head is static or bended forward, neck muscles, peripheral tendons and ligaments support the head. Studies reveal out that when the neck is flexed by 15 degrees, the load on the neck is 12.25 kg and the figures are 18 kg and 22 kg at 30 degrees and 45 degrees, respectively. This type of a stress that is repeated in time can lead to early degeneration and associating disorders in the neck.

Do not use mobile phones while walking

In addition to general injuries resulting from overuse and poor posture, use of mobile phones during activities that require maximal attention such as driving or walking (especially on uneven surfaces) brings about the risk of acute injuries. It is, therefore, very critical to be aware of these risks, take healthy steps to prevent potential injuries and take safety measures.

Mobile phones affect the mood

Ideal posture has positive effects on general body health and mood in addition to the spinal health. Studies demonstrate that correct posture affects serotonin levels positively.

To use mobile phones in a more ergonomic way…

Recommendations that will contribute to ergonomic use of mobile phones are as follows:

  • Raise the phone instead of bending your head while using mobile phone.
  • Keep your phone at level of or slightly below the chin while reading something on your phone’s screen. Avoid holding your phone in your lap or below the chest level.
  • Try using other fingers as an alternative of your thumb while typing messages or mails. Instead of using the phone with one hand, put the phone on a flat surface or try typing with one hand while holding the phone with other hand as long as possible.
  • While typing with your thumb, try to write with pulp of your thumb rather than flexing the finger.
  • Keep your wrists as comfortable and neutral as possible.
  • Minimize the tension in your wrists and fingers while using your devices. Have an upright posture to maximum extent.
  • Avoid bending your head downward for prolonged time, as this posture flattens the natural curve of the cervical spine and introversion in head of the shoulder joint.
  • Do not position your smart device that causes rotation of your neck.
  • Keep your messages as short as possible or use voice-to-text software. Extra keystrokes will result with further tiredness of wrists and fingers.
  • When texting with touch screen phones, place your phone on a vertical position. This will reduce the area required for your thumb reach the key while typing.
  • Do not use mobile phones or tablets for long-term works.
  • Limit the time of typing with 10 to 15 minutes. Take short breaks (at least 2 to 3 minutes) in every 15 minutes. Switch your phone to silent mode to ensure that these short breaks are not interrupted.

*Information in our web site does not aim to provide guidance for diagnosis and treatment. Do not make any diagnostic and therapeutic procedures before consulting your physician. The articles contain information about therapeutic healthcare services of Acıbadem Healthcare Group.