These Shocking 'Text Neck' X-rays Show How Children As Young As SEVEN Are Becoming Hunch Backs Because Of Their Addiction To Smart Phones

By Muk Khatri in Health and Fitness On 23rd October 2015

#1 Shocking X-rays of teenagers have been released to raise awareness about a condition called 'text neck', pictured (left) is a 16-year-old girl who is developing a hunchback and (right) is a 17-year-old boy with an abnormally curved spine

'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.

'Instead of a normal forward curve, patients can be seen to have a backwards curve. It can be degenerative, often causing head, neck, shoulder and back pain.

'Many patients come in complaining they have a headache, but we actually find text neck is the cause of it. They often fail a simple heel-to-toe test and tend to fall over.'

#2 He even had one seven-year-old patient with 'text neck' symptoms, pictured before (left) and after (right) treatment

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#3 This is an example of a normal cervical X-ray with a forward curve and smooth and regular vertebrae

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.

#4 The condition is often brought on by staring at phones for several hours, pictured (left) is a man in his early 20s with a severe backward curve and (right) is a man in his 80s showing extreme degeneration

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#5 This X-ray shows the spine of a 16-year-old girl who is demonstrating typical signs of 'text neck'

'It can also mean that happy hormones, such as Endorphins and Serotonin are not released, meaning people can wake up anxious.'

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.

U.S. doctor Dr Kenneth Hansraj has also raised awareness about the condition and said the weight on the neck increases when we look down at our phones.

He said that although our heads weigh between 10lb and 12lb, the weight on the neck can increase to 27lbs at a 15-degree angle and 60lb at 60 degrees.

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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#8 Dr Carter revealed he had seen an 'alarming increase' in the number of patients with the condition over the past few years and said 50 per cent of them are school-age teenagers