Cell Phones and the Decline of Posture ~ by Dr. Karri Cardinal

10 July, 2017

Next time you are standing in line, look around and watch people on their mobile devices. Technology has certainly made things easier for us, but at what cost? Forward head posture, rounded shoulders and hunching (“iPosture”) can cause myriad health problems such as neck pain, upper back pain, mid back pain, low back pain, headaches, jaw pain, migraines and accelerated aging of the spine and discs; to name just a few. More importantly, poor posture causes stress to your nervous system which provides energy to all of your vital organs. This can translate to overall poor health, dysfunction and disease.

Now even young kids have these mobile devices and are learning poor postural habits at an early age. It use to be that we were 40 or 50 before we started having “back pain”, now we are seeing the effects of poor posture at an earlier age… in our teens and 20’s! It’s time we learn how to use these devices properly and teach our children to do so as well.

– Allow children only 1 hour of repetitive use. This will cut down on time spent in these unhealthy postures. It takes only 20 minutes of a sustained unhealthy posture for your ligaments to start adapting to that unhealthy posture.

– Encourage your kids to hold their mobile devices up instead of hunching over to look down on them. This will help keep the shoulders back and the head level.

– Adults: give yourself frequent breaks (at least once per hour) and stretch your back and neck in the opposite position that you have been holding yourself.

However, once these abnormal postures are present, the only way to correct them is through corrective care methods. Simply standing or sitting up straight won’t reverse the damage that has already been done.

According to the American Journal of Pain Management (1994), posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to normal hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture.

Below are signs and/or symptoms of postural weakness:

head aches
thyroid conditions
high/low blood pressure
numbness in arms/legs
poor circulation
weakness in extremities
heart burn/indigestion
mental sluggishness
shortness of breath
menstrual irregularities
swelling feet/ankles
visual disturbances
hear disturbances
bladder incontinence
skin conditions
carpal tunnel

About Dr. Karri Cardinal
Believing that prevention is elemental in maintaining youthfulness and vitality, Dr. Cardinal strives to educate people on health and wellness. In addition to weekly workshops in her office, she has taught at companies such as United Airlines, Whole Foods, Kaiser Hospital, Wells Fargo, W Hotel, UC Berkeley, and Prometheus Real Estate Group. Dr. Cardinal’s San Francisco office (Cardinal Chiropractic) offers chiropractic, acupuncture, massage and weight loss. She also has a weight loss clinic in Pacifica (Coastside Wellness). She has been a PMC club member since 2013.