Recently, Chris Stulginsky, was asked to comment on “iPosture”, an epidemic plaguing young people causing severe neck and back pain as the result of being hunched over mobile devices for extended periods of time. Below is a copy of the article that original appeared on Charlotte News 14:
More young people suffering back, neck pain from phone use
By: Caroline Vandergriff
CHARLOTTE — An epidemic known as “iPosture” is causing severe back and neck pain as people spend more time on mobile devices. The position is a result of looking down at a cell phone or tablet with the neck bent and the shoulders slumped over. “When somebody is holding something in front of you, you start to curl to curl your shoulders over,” said physical therapist Christopher Stulginksy of Ayrsley Town Rehabilitation. “They start to look down, specifically at their mobile devices, and it puts a lot of stress on the muscles in the back.”
Stulginsky said that type of stress overworks the muscles and creates pain.
A recent study by UK health provider SimplyHealth shows 84 percent of 18 to 24 year olds reported suffering back or neck pain in the past year. That same study finds someone in that age group spends almost nine hours a day in front of some of screen. “Think about the percentage of the day that you’re in that posture,” said Stulginsky. “So, OK, what can we change? It’s not realistic to stop using those devices, but you can change the posture, and that’s where you can mitigate the problems you have long term.” Stulginsky suggested setting an alarm on a phone for every 15 minutes as a reminder to check posture or change your position. “Put it on vibrate so it doesn’t disturb people around you, and when that goes off, in your pocket or on your desk, just momentarily change the posture,” Stulginsky said. “It will mitigate the force that you’re putting for the position you’re in all day.”
Grandparents’ advice to stand straight and sit up tall really will help alleviate problems as well, along with a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise.