Tech savvy society may cause spine damage

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Sara Story - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - You may want to know about a medical condition that doctors claim is on the rise in our tech savvy society. "Straight Neck Syndrome" or "Forward Neck Position" can be caused by bad posture as a result of using your video games, computers, and, yes, even your cell phones.

Cyndi Cossota has experienced excruciating pain in her neck for years. There were times when she couldn't move her head side to side. The problem was finally revealed in X-rays taken by her chiropractor. "My chiropractor said one of the problems is my neck is too straight," Cossota said. "I thought that would be a good thing."

Cyndi was diagnosed with Straight Neck Syndrome, known in the medical community as Forward Head Position. "I'm an art director for an advertising agency, so pretty much my whole life, I've been looking down. I've been looking on computers, and recently, I've joined the whole texting wave," said Cossota.

Mark Hembree is a chiropractic doctor. He says a normal neck has a C-shaped curve to it. "Forward Head Position is when the neck gets out of alignment," Hembree added.

He says the "forward position" is the source to a long list of medical problems. "It can cause symptoms from headaches to migraines. It can affect the nerves that go to our arms and hands and give you Carpal Tunnel, shoulder problems [and] Rotator Cuff problems," said Hembree.

According to Hembree, doctors used to think F.H.P. was only caused by traumatic injuries. "But, now that we see so many people working at computers and playing on Game Boys and playing on their iPhones, just through the culmination of being like this over time, it causes their neck to change," said Hembree.

Improved posture and a computerized adjusting instrument may help patients like Cossota beat the pain. Chiropractors say F.H.P. can be corrected if it is caught early on, but if a patient has it for several years, its effects may be irreversible. It could lead to degeneration and arthritis.

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