Chiropractors treating more 'Tech Neck' cases in Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - It's a serious concern with a light-hearted nickname: Tech Neck. Associated with the pain and complications that can arise when you look down at a tablet or a smart phone for hours every day, it could be getting worse in the classroom.

Tablets, meant to make learning easier and more accessible, may be causing kids a big pain in the neck.

"Because of technology, I'm seeing kids and teenagers constantly looking down at their iPads and cell phones and I've been seeing an epidemic of straight neck or tech neck," said Dr. Michael Sosa of Westchase Chiropractic in Tampa.

Tablets and smartphones are now widely being used in classrooms across the Bay area, putting kids in front of screens with their necks down for hours every day.

"As we age, our posture changes, due to our work and repetitive injuries. Now, we are starting to see the switch over where it is starting to occur in our kids because as new technology comes about, there are new problems," said Dr. Hannibal Hervey, a chiropractor who works alongside Dr. Sosa.

"We are seeing serious signs of degeneration at 23, 26, less than 30-years old, that we weren't seeing previously until people were in their 50's and 60's," said Dr. Sosa.

So, what can you do to avoid the pain of tech neck? Prevention is key.

"As a parent, you need to make sure that if your kids are going to use their tablet, their iPhone, that they have that tablet directly in front of them. Either resting on their chest or a pillow," said Dr. Sosa.

If you think the problem of tech neck isn't that serious, think again. Tilting your head forward just 15 degrees puts an extra 10 pounds of pressure on your neck.

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