Dialing Trouble: Cell Phones, Your Spine, and Your Health

man walking and texting

The mobile world is, it seems, fraught with peril.  The more dependent we become on those little, omnipresent screens, the more problematic the relationship is between us and “them”.

We all love our cell phones.  They’re what connect us to the world wherever we are.  But there are serious health implications arising from cell phone use that we need to think about.

These implications are so pressing that just last year, the State of California issued public guidelines concerning cell phone usage.  When a government authority issues guidelines like these, it’s time to start thinking about cell phones and how they affect our health.

Text Neck and More

I’ve written about text neck (also known as tech neck) on this blog before.  All the same, what I’ve said in other posts about it bears repeating.

Your head is a heavy object and when it’s inclined over a cell phone for prolonged periods of time, there’s going to be trouble.  Your cervical vertebrae weren’t intended to be used this way.  In fact, the natural position of the head is centered above the shoulders and neutral.

When you’re texting or reading on your cell phone, that large object (your head) is dangling from a complex system of tendon, muscle, ligaments, nerves and bone.  Your cervical vertebrae won’t be happy if you’re doing this for hours every day.

And so, I will repeat my mantra on cell phone use yet again:  hold the device up to your face (louder for the people in the back).

But text neck is only the beginning of the havoc which can be wreaked on your health by cell phones.  Let’s talk about some other concerns.


The guidelines issued by California are instructive on several fronts with respect to cell phone radiofrequency.

For one, the guidelines recommend that your cell phone be carried away from your body (in a purse or laptop bag, for example).  Placing it in a pocket is convenient, but radiofrequency can have serious consequences for your health, potentially causing an increased risk for some cancers (including of the brain), as well as lowered sperm counts in men, impacts on memory, headaches and reduced sleep quality.

The guidelines also suggested refraining from cell phone usage when you have a signal of two bars or less.  Why?  Because cell phones emit higher rates of radiofrequency energy with reduced signal availability.  This is also true when you’re in a car or on a train or bus.

Another culprit?  Streaming videos on your cell phone or downloading large files.  These activities should be pursued on a laptop or desktop computer.

While all these may sound a little alarmist, you need to consider that a state government deeming usage guidelines important enough to release publicly is a bit of a wakeup call.

As though text neck weren’t enough, right?

Do yourself a favor and give some thought to following the advice found in the State of California’s cell phone usage guidelines.

Text neck getting you down?  Contact me!  I’ll get you straightened out.

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