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‘Text neck’ is becoming an ‘epidemic’ and could wreck your spine
December 10, 2016

‘Text neck’ is becoming an ‘epidemic’ and could wreck your spine

The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds.

That’s the burden that comes with staring at a smartphone — the way millions do for hours every day, according to research published by Kenneth Hansraj in the National Library of Medicine. The study will appear next month in Surgical Technology International. Over time, researchers say, this poor posture, sometimes called “text neck,” can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery.

“It is an epidemic or, at least, it’s very common,” Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, told The Washington Post. “Just look around you, everyone has their heads down.”

Can’t grasp the significance of 60 pounds? Imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck several hours per day. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts or checking social media sites. That’s 700 to 1,400 hours per year people are putting stress on their spines, according to the research. And high-schoolers might be the worst. They could conceivably spend an additional 5,000 hours in this position, Hansraj said.

“The problem is really profound in young people,” he said. “With this excessive stress in the neck, we might start seeing young people needing spine care. I would really like to see parents showing more guidance.”

Medical experts have been warning people for years. Some say for every inch the head tilts forward, the pressure on the spine doubles.

Tom DiAngelis, president of the American Physical Therapy Association‘s Private Practice Section, told CNN last year the effect is similar to bending a finger all the way back and holding it there for about an hour.

“As you stretch the tissue for a long period of time, it gets sore, it gets inflamed,” he said. It can also cause muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated disks and, over time, it can even remove the neck’s natural curve.

It’s a risk for some 58 percent of American adults who own smartphones.

Michelle Collie, a doctor who heads Performance Physical Therapy in Rhode Island, told CNN last year she started seeing patients with mobile technology-induced head, neck and back pain some six or seven years ago.

Poor posture can cause other problems as well. Experts say it can reduce lung capacity by as much as 30 percent. It has also been linked to headaches and neurological issues, depression and heart disease.

“While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over,” according to the research.

Speaking to TODAY, Hansraj gave smartphone users tips to avoid pain:

  • Look down at your device with your eyes. No need to bend your neck.
  • Exercise: Move your head from left to right several times. Use your hands to provide resistance and push your head against them, first forward and then backward. Stand in a doorway with your arms extended and push your chest forward to strengthen “the muscles of good posture,” Hansraj said.

“I love technology. I’m not bashing technology in any way,” Hansraj told The Post. “My message is: Just be cognizant of where your head is in space. Continue to enjoy your smartphones and continue to enjoy this technology — just make sure your head is up.”

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Posture's New Ally
July 12, 2015

Posture's New Ally

POSTURE’S NEW ALLY

The missing links in Corrective Chiropractic

Article by Dr. Michael Bucknell

Spinal correction in Chiropractic has come a long ways in recent years thanks to pioneering minds and technological advances. From scoliosis correction to cervical lordosis restoration, we can see improvements now in record times that some even today would find unimaginable. Nonetheless we also see some of the biggest challenges with more time spent texting, on personal devices, and a culture increasingly numb to the factors that affect their lives the most. The single biggest challenge to permanent structural correction however is the same now that it was decades ago, ligament damage.

Anyone engaged in corrective Chiropractic has seen it. Some patients don’t seem to do a thing but show up for adjustments. No home care, no lifestyle change, yet their spine corrects almost miraculously. Another does everything they are prescribed and beyond, yet weeks to months their process crawls along. The factor I’ve found to be the key is ligament damage. When the nerve system is working properly and the structure is intact, correction is entirely predictable once you understand the physics and anatomy. But when things don’t seem right and you’ve investigated every angle to make sure the patient isn’t spending 8 hours a day hunched over a laptop, there is almost certainly a structural integrity issue. And with the acquisition of a DMX Digital Motion Xray we can now see it in action with the same level of predictability. This has led to what I consider the “final frontier” of corrective Chiropractic, the quest to stimulate fast efficient ligament repair. Sounds impossible now, but with current technologies showing layers of promise (Laser, Platelet Rich Plasma, etc) I’m certain technology will find a way. That will be a revolutionary step for Chiropractic. Until then, our challenge is clear. After all the work we do in office to fix people, how do you maintain altered posture when they go home to an environment diametrically opposed? Body weighting has it’s limitations in the factor most important, time. Ditching the pillow for a comfortable lordosis roll helps while you sleep, but only gives your ligaments a little time to heal overridden if the next 16 hours are undoing the gains. I found I needed a sustained wear posture device patients could wear for hours not minutes. Most of the units I found searching just pulled back the shoulders flattening the TS doing nothing for the lordosis. So we created the first Posture Trainer in the back room out of necessity and it worked great minus a few problems, comfort and flexibility.


After learning from the mistakes of round one, I worked with Halo Products Inc to create and
manufacture a complete redesign and we are quite happy with the result. The new Posture Trainer
is comfortable, flexible, simple, and most of all effective. The wide elastic straps allow long term wear without cutting in around the waste. It’s firmly flexible at the right places to allow full range of motion while not wearing out from rubbing components. This means you can even exercise in it to maintain proper form. It’s also easy to put on; shoulders in first like a backpack, buckle it in the front, then pull the straps tight at the ring in the back to balance the fit. Taking just seconds to put on, compliance is improved dramatically. In testing and trial over the first year, we found we were achieving stable corrections we could not achieve before. Even in patients that were previously “minimally responsive”, this simple factor of having them wear this device a few extra hours a day has proved to balance the scale. What’s nice as well is of all the home care we provide our patients, this device is consistently their favorite to use and the one they value the most. So doctors can provide the necessary component of time sufficient posture retraining in one simple, comfortable, and easy to use device. We’ve found the Posture Trainer to be a true game changer especially when combined with head weighting and all the other fantastic processes many doctors already utilize. The next step in our evolution is quickly and safely stimulating damaged ligament regrowth and repair. Technology may be decades off or just around the bend. At the speed things are changing nobody knows. Until then time is our greatest foe or ally. We should harness time wisely and to our advantage, or we stand to lose it to a multitude of factors your patients are already doing even when you tell them not to.


Dr. Michael Bucknell is the owner of Liberation Chiropractic & Wellness in Mobile, Alabama as well
as Innate Innovations Inc, and developer of the Posture Trainer as a necessary component to his
spinal correction protocol.

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October 15, 2013

Vibe For Health Collaborates on an Advanced Headweight Design


Many chiropractors are familiar with the concept of using spinal weighting as a tool to improve their patient’s posture, especially in cases of forward head posture.  Nicolas Andry, the Father of Orthopedics, first suggested the concept of using weights to improve posture in his text Orthopaedia in 1741.  Our understanding of how the body reacts to strategically-positioned forces has advanced significantly in the last 270 years, and Vibe For Health is proud to share a new headweighting product with the chiropractic profession that offers several significant advantages over similar products.

Dr. Dennis Woggon worked together with the developer of the HaloPostureTM to incorporate his extensive clinical experience with spinal weighting into the product.  Dr. Woggon is a recognized expert in the field of spinal biomechanics, and is the founder and CEO of the CLEAR Scoliosis Institute Non-Profit.


“I’ve always been impressed with the style and comfort of the HaloPosture,” states Dr. Woggon.  “Patient compliance is a necessary part of achieving results.  If the patients won’t wear it, obviously they won’t benefit from it.”  Dr. Woggon does not profit from sales of the HaloPosture, nor any of Vibe For Health’s other products – despite the fact that he owns patents on several.


Dr. Woggon was one of the authors of a research article published in 2003 that documented the improvement of cervical lordosis and the reduction of forward head posture with anterior headweighting protocols.  In the years since publishing this scientific article, he has continued his work to identify the most efficient spinal weighting protocols for postural and spinal rehabilitation.


“We tested the new HaloPosture design on a wide variety of patients with forward head posture and loss of the cervical curve,” explains Dr. Woggon.  “In the case of one patient with a 273% loss of curve and 2 inches of forward head posture, the new design was able to achieve a 239% improvement in the curve and completely eliminate her forward head posture.  Using a different style of headweight, we were only able to achieve a 2% improvement in the cervical curve and a 30% reduction in the forward head posture.”


In addition to its enhanced clinical effectiveness, the HaloPosture is an Earth-Friendly product.  It is made with a material known as Geoprene, which is soft, elastic, non-toxic, and more than twice as durable as its synthetic cousin, neoprene.  Geoprene is an organic compound consisting of 99.7 percent calcium carbonate, which means biodegradable materials and no chance of a reaction in patients who are sensitive to artificial or synthetic materials.

For more information about the research and benefits of the HaloPosture, and to view a free 35-minute video on headweighting protocols presented by Dr. Dennis Woggon, please visit www.HaloPosture.com.  You can also place orders at this website, or also from Vibe For Health (there is no difference in the price).  If you like the HaloPosture, please don’t forget to check out the other new and exciting products available at www.VibeForHealth.com!

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