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With smartphones gaining popularity among South Koreans since 2010, an escalating number of youngsters, mostly in their twenties, are beginning to suffer the consequences.
According to the Korean National Health Insurance Corporation, the number of patients with cervical disc herniation (or slipped disc) has increased from 573,912 in 2007 to 784,121 in 2011. Out of 100,000 patients, 7.6 percent of them are in their twenties.
Most people look down when using their mobile devices. This posture adds a strain to the neck and causes cervical disc herniation. Whilst a human head weighs approximately 10 pounds (4.5kg), staring at a phone with your head tilted forward will feel more akin to a 20 to 30-pound (9kg to 13.6kg) load.
Cervical disc herniation isn't the only problem caused by using smartphones. An article by Chosun Ilboearlier in May highlighted that youngsters also spend less time exercising which has resulted in an increase in obesity.
If you are one of those who like to spend hours chatting or gaming on your smartphone, this latest report from Korea should motivate you to take some time to rest in between and do some light neck stretches. After all, a slipped disc is no joking matter as it requires frequent chirorpactic care and therapy and in some cases, it may even need non surgical spianl decompression and even worse surgery.