WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A Wilmington doctor is warning of an epidemic caused by cell phone use. "Text Neck" is the name of the medical condition caused by neck and back strain from the position a person reverts into when texting or playing with their phone.
Dr. Friedman of Friedman Chiropractic said 80 percent of the patients he sees are suffering from issues related to text neck. After decades in his industry, he has only seen "text neck" in the past eight years.
Friedman is also seeing young children coming in with text neck which could cause serious issues if the problem is not corrected.
The weight of a person's head (equal to about 10 pounds) grows in weight as the head is moved forward. This means a person could have up to 50 pounds of weight straining their back and neck when texting using an incorrect texting position.
"Worst case scenario, degenerated discs, permanent damage and even herniated discs," said Friedman, when naming some of the more serious issues. He said he also see chronic headaches and neck pain.
Text neck can be relieved by several simple exercises like stretching the neck and back muscles using a push-up position on the wall.
It can also be relieved by using a rubber tube to stretch the neck in the opposite direction the text neck is causing the neck position to form. The neck should have a natural curve but often text neck straightens it out.
Text neck can be prevented by texting in a proper sitting position, lifting the head while texting, and relieving the neck of the additional weight.