We all know that spending too much time staring at your cellphone can damage your social relationships, but can it also damage your spine? According to chiropractor Dr. Thomas Carpenter of Yorktown Heights, the answer is probably yes. Carpenter, a 34-year practitioner of chiropractic medicine, has identified a musculoskeletal condition that he calls text neck or tech neck.
“On average, people spend about 4.7 hours [per day] looking down at their cellphones,” says Carpenter. “That amount of time, in that distorted position, is starting to change the shape of the spine — shortening muscles and creating some problems with breathing.”
Carpenter realized that the devices that treat this condition all require patients to lie down on a treatment table — impractical almost everywhere but the doctor’s office. So he created a spinal-treatment device, for those over the age of 12, called Stand Corrected ($24.99 online and in stores such as Walmart and Kmart). Place it around your neck, slide your hands into the pockets, and begin stretching. “If you use it properly, it will be effective in helping to encourage the neck curve to go back to its normal position.”