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35-year-old man may have permanently injured neck through smartphone use

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It's safe to assume that, in today's day and age, the vast majority of people now own a smartphone. In fact, millions of people are on their smartphones at this very moment. There's even a chance that you're reading this from a smartphone. It's become a part of life, just like television and the Internet. As always, there's going to be an adjustment period when learning how to live with new technologies.

It's been said that too much of anything is bad for us, and for the most part, the sentiment has been proven correct on more than one occasion. Smartphone usage is no different: too much use could be habit forming, and depending on what said habit is, it could lead to serious trouble further down the line.

For instance, a 35-year-old man living in Taiwan used his smartphone for three hours a night, every day, while lying in bed with his head at a stiff angle. As a result, the man's bad posture on such a regular schedule led not only to aches and pains, but possible permanent damage.

According to the report, the man began reporting neck pains and a lack of feeling in his arms roughly two months ago. Of course, that's a terrible sign right off the bat, but things only got worse from there. Following a check-up and X-rays, it was revealed that, because of the consistent smartphone usage and terrible posture, bone spurs and vertebrae deterioration were the cause of the man's constant pain.

Bone spurs are small growths that can form throughout the body. Typically, the growths form around the edges of bones, and are usually found near joints in the spine. The protrusions are typically a symptom of osteoarthritis, and while they don't always cause pain, there are cases in which soreness is a symptom. Vertebrae deterioration is exactly what it sounds like, and because of it, doctors are stating that the Taiwanese man now has the bone strength of someone twice his age.

What's worse is that the doctors also mentioned how common such injuries are becoming with Taiwan's youth. Over the last five years, reports of neck pain and deterioration have increased throughout the country, and were caused by the exact same behavior. Prevention of such injuries is almost comically simple, however: don't lay on your back and look at your phone for three hours a night, and you'll be fine.

With obesity and related issues being such a focus in the U.S. for years now, one has to think that it won't be long before similar injuries become commonplace in our country. After all, Americans are just as entranced with smartphones as the rest of the world. At this point, it could just be a matter of time.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons 

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