Checking emails, playing Candy Crush, reading news articles, and texting for hours on end have been made possible by our smartphones and tablets. Take a look around you. How many people are looking down at their smartphone or tablet? Or maybe you yourself might be doing just that.

Technology is changing our lives in good ways such as making communication and collaboration virtually instantaneous. But technology is also changing the way we carry ourselves, especially our posture.

The average human head weighs around 12 pounds and when our heads are tilted downward, it adds extra stress on the head and neck. Some are calling this diagnosis “text neck”. Whether it’s texting, emailing, or surfing the web in a hunched position, it’s straining your neck, shoulders, and back.

This excess pressure can take a toll on your spine, even pulling it out of alignment. Dr. Tom DiAngelis, president of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Private Practice Section, compares it to “bending your finger all the way back and holding it there for an hour”.  Using smartphones in a hunched position for long periods of time can lead to muscle strain, pinched nerves, and even disc herniation.

If you can’t do without your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, there are things you can do to help reduce the stress on your neck and back. One of the first things you can do is to be consciously aware of the position you’re in and try to roll your shoulders back to an upright position and keep your head level instead of tilted forward.

You still may be experiencing back and neck pain that could require more intense care, such as a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractors in Austin, such as Whole Body Health, practice natural, drugless, non-invasive health care and rely on the body’s ability to self-heal.

Next time you find yourself hunched over your smartphone or tablet, try adjusting your body to a more natural position and contact a chiropractor in Austin if you are experiencing consistent back or neck pain.