Can you picture what that would look like? Can you envision the fishing pole bending, almost to the point of breaking, as the weight of that bowling ball pulls it lower and lower toward the ground?
The fishing line is being stretched to its breaking point by the weight of the bowling ball, until it can no longer bear the weight and does, in fact, snap.
Think about the bowling ball as your head and the fishing line and pole as your spine. Specifically, your cervical spine. As your head travels forward, a tremendous amount of pressure is placed on your spine. And the farther the head moves forward, the more pressure on the spine.
Nearly a decade ago, the term “text neck” hit the scene when The Washington Post printed the latest findings from Kenneth Hansraj, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine.
An average human head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds and tilting it down — whether you’re checking Facebook or Instagram, sending a text, or googling how much a human head weighs — increases the gravitational pull on your head.
For those glued to our screens day in and day out, Hansraj discovered that as the head tilts forward, the forces experienced by the neck surge to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees!
Sixty pounds! Can you imagine having a 2nd grader hanging around your neck all day long? That’s basically what happens as we look at our phones, computers and other devices. Pretty scary, isn’t it?
But there’s good news! You can take measures to correct this when it happens. Your muscles intuitively know what role they are intended to play when it comes to keeping your head over your shoulders. But in this day and age, they need consistent reminding of the job they’re designed to do.