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'Text neck' is the newest public health crisis

'Text neck' is the newest public health crisis
photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK

New technology is being used to cure ailments of all sorts (thanks to 3-D printing) but it's also causing a whole new set of health problems.

On top of eye strain and disrupted sleep patterns, new studies are finding that illuminated screens aren't the only thing that can hurt your head.

The new epidemic is called "text neck" and it's exactly what it sounds like.

“The problem is the posture,” Dr. Dean Fishman, a chiropractic physician who created and trademarked the phrase “text neck,” told FoxNews.com. The Plantation, Florida-based doctor believes text neck is a global epidemic that is literally changing the way our bodies should grow.

Physical therapist Dr. Brian Kirby, claims that due to hours of gaming on tablets and smartphones, as well as spending hours sending texts and emails and other activities on smartphones and tablets leads to bad posture, which leads to an entire range of other health concerns including headaches, neck pain, arm and shoulder pain, and even arthritis.

“Anything that puts you in that posture, whether it’s reading, typing, or texting - everything on your backside is getting stretched out. Over time, the ligaments get weak. This leads to bulging discs, nerve compression, burning and tingling down the arms.”

So what can you do to prevent getting text neck? You could just put the gadget down, but Fishman admits that's not possible for all.

“These mobile devices have become a direct extension of our bodies at this point,” said Fishman. “A lot of articles will say ‘put down your device and walk away from it for a while’ - take a break and stretch out. That’s just not reality.”

In response, Fishman has developed an Android app called Text Neck Indicator that gives you a green light if you are holding your gadget at the right height and angle when you're using it.

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Source: Fox News
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