During summer this year, the state of New Jersey passed a law regarding cellphone safety. Police forces throughout the Ocean County, including Brick, are strictly enforcing the no texting while driving rule. The law has met little opposition from the residents since texting has been the cause of several car accidents in the area.

Now, according to a new article published in TIME.com, too much texting might not only cause accidents on the road, but also imminent spinal damage:

Looking down at your phone can add up to 60 pounds of pressure on your spine, depending on the angle. That’s according to a new study from spinal surgeon Dr. Kenneth Hansraj and published in Surgical Technology International.

People spend two to four hours per day on average with their heads tilted downward in activities like texting and reading, the study said. Over the course of a year, that time adds up to 700 to 1,400 hours of excess stress on the cervical spine, or up to 5,000 hours for high school students. Over time, this causes a hunched-forward position and increases the risk of spinal wear and tear.

It’s “nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues,” Dr. Hansraj wrote in the report. But people can take preventative steps by looking at their phones while maintaining good posture, defined as having one’s ears aligned with their shoulders.

Unbeknownst to many, people’s cellphone habits might actually change the neck’s cervical curve and misalign the spinal cord in the long run. Poor posture, coupled with the prolonged use of a phone or tablet, puts a lot of pressure on the muscles and nerves of the body. The act of hunching over works against gravity, so the pressure placed on the body every day could gradually lead to the wearing and tearing of joints.

Since children are just as exposed to new technology, they are also susceptible to suffering because of poor texting posture. Neck pain, headaches, and the feeling of numbness in the hands can all be warning signs of poor texting posture. If you are experiencing several of these symptoms, it might be a good idea to visit a local chiropractor in Brick, NJ.

The best way to counteract this is to practice good posture. Making a habit of raising phones to eye-level is considered to be a better approach than constantly straightening one’s shoulders. Several chiropractors in Brick, NJ, like the specialists in the Back and Neck Center of Brick, offer treatment for back and spinal pain.

(Source: Here’s What Happens to Your Spine When You’re Constantly Texting, November 19, 2014)