Children are becoming hunch backs because of their addiction to smart phones

Research and X-rays have shown that teenagers and children are developing hunchbacks and abnormally curved spines because of an addiction to smartphones.

Children are becoming hunch backs because of their addiction to smart phones

Research and X-rays have shown that teenagers and children as young as seven are developing hunchbacks and abnormally curved spines because of an addiction to smartphones.

A leading Australian chiropractor has warned that 'text neck' - a condition often brought on by bending over phones and tablets for several hours at a time - is becoming an epidemic.

Dr James Carter, based in Niagara Park, on the NSW Central Coast, said the relatively new condition can lead to anxiety and ­depression as well as spinal damage. He said in an interview with Daily Mail.

'I have started seeing lots of cases over the past two years, especially in young schoolchildren and teenagers,' Dr Carter told Daily Mail Australia.

'The condition is called 'text neck' because it is often caused when people sit with their heads dropped forward looking at their devices for several hours at a time.

Research suggests that smartphones users spent an average of four hours a day staring at their device - resulting in up to 1,400 hours a year of excess stresses on the cervical spine.

The posture we adopt as we stare at our phones causes excessive wear and tear that may eventually require an operation to correct it.

Dr Carter, a former governor of the Australian Spinal Research Foundation, said the spine can shift by up to 4cm after repeated head tilts.

Still, he believes damage can be minimised for teenagers through regular exercise and a natural, 'healthy lifestyle'.

The condition can also result in emotional and behavioural changes as the stress can affect the release of 'happy hormones'.

'Resting your chin on your chest to look at your phone stretches the spinal cord and brain stem. This can affect respiration, heart rate and blood pressure.'

Dr Carter also advised avoiding using laptops or phones while sitting or lying in bed, raising monitors or devices to eye level and keeping your body moving.

Sammy Margo, from the UK's Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, also believes that 'text neck' is on the rise.

She said the condition can cause 'head pain, neck pain, arm pain and numbness'.

'When you drop your chin on to your chest for a long period you are stretching the whole structure,' she said.

'Eventually, in conjunction with a sedentary lifestyle, it could lead to serious consequences.'

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