The amount of time we spend hunched over mobile devices like iPads and smart phones is leading to chronic pain which is known as 'texters neck' or 'iPosture,' 1200 WOAI's Berit Mason reports.
Dr. Scott Seidel, a chiropractor at the San Antonio Orthopaedic Group, tells Berit he sees the condition more and more, in patients of all ages.
"After you have played with your phones or iPads over and over for many hours and several days per week, eventually you are going to start to develop neck strain, neck pain, and possibly headaches which become chronic," he said.
A study by Simplyhealth revealed at 84% of 18-24 year olds have admitted to suffering back pain in the last ten months.
The study also showed that people in almost all age groups spend as much time in front of a PC, laptop, or tablet or phone each day as the spend in bed.
De. Seidel says patients come to him with complaints of pain, and when he tells them that it could be from use of mobile devices, they are frequently incredulous.
"But once we talk about how much they use their smart phone, how much they use their tablet, then it comes out and they say, oh, my gosh, I am using this all the time."
Dr. Seidel says the pain frequently radiates from the back of the head to the middle of the shoulder blades. The pain is experienced daily, and does not seem to get better on its own.
He says when we bend our necks and look down at a smart phone or iPad for long periods at a time, we are putting stress and strain on the joints and muscles on the back of the neck, and this is not a natural position for the neck and can perpetuate poor posture.
He suggests holding the device at neutral eye level so your head is not angled, and make sure your head is not 'protruded or bent forward for long periods of time.' He says maintaining general physical fitness is also a way to avoid 'texters neck.'
"It really is a problem and it is becoming an epidemic," he said. "We have people who take ibuprofen daily, 400, 600, 800 milligrams daily for the neck pain. And most of them have no idea where it's coming from."