The Posture Epidemic Plaguing Pre-Teens

It's a position so fantastically both new and prominent it has gained it’s own name: “Tech Neck.” You may have seen it around, especially with younger fellows: Head forward and bent down, rounded shoulders and back, focused on some device held in their lap, or sometimes only inches from their face.

Scientific Reports recently published a shocking new paper finding a “horn” growing off the back of the head of children who spend a large amount of time on their electronic devices. This extreme adaptation to the Tech Neck posture is suspected to be the result of the constant pressure put on the back of the head called the occiput when in the forward-bent position during development. With this awkward posture and lack of proper motion, soft tissues in the area begin to calcify (or become hardened like bone), producing a “horn” visible on X-rays! Here are some other startling bits of information:

  • Young children may spend as much as 1,400 hours in a single year in the “Tech Neck” position while on their devices
  • Just 15 degrees of forward bending can as much as TRIPLE the amount of stress your neck has to handle to support your head.
  • As little as taking a 15 second break every 15 minutes to stretch and change positions can have a HUGE positive impact on reducing your chances of having neck pain, headaches, or horns growing from the back of your head due to poor postures such as Tech Neck.

Just because you have had poor posture for a while doesn’t mean you have a “horn” growing out of your skull. It does however highlight just how important being cognizant of our posture is, and how important it is to teach the younger generation to do so while their bodies are most susceptible to developing long-lasting, irreversible changes to their bodies. As an adult your body has mostly stopped developing, so changes take longer to happen and while they may take a while to reverse, aren’t so permanent once they happen. For children, however, it’s just the opposite. While the body is developing, changes happen quickly—both for better AND for worse—however once that window for change closes, the final result in rather permanent, and can be debilitating.

This is why at your Premier Chiropractic Clinic in Gilbert, Better Chiropractic, we aim to not only treat your pain to help you Feel Better, but teach others how to Live Better by giving stretching, exercise, and posture advice to people of all ages, especially kids. So if you’ve got kids on their devices all the time, get them in for a check-up. We will put them through a short plan to get their bodies back on track and then give them (and you) advice to make sure you stay out of pain and Perform Better in life, work and sports, too!