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08/18/2013

Heavy phone use by teens causing major health problems

An Ottawa chiropractor says she is seeing dramatically more teenagers suffering from neck pain due to time spent on their phones.

According to CTVOttawa, Dr. Kelly Norman says heavy smartphone usage by teens is causing a change in the curve of their necks.

The changes can be “a direct result of all the looking down” at smartphones and tablets, she says.

Norman says some of her patients are showing the early signs of osteoarthritis – degenerative joint disease.

As the Arthritis Society puts it: osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between joints wears away, “causing pain, stiffness, swelling and bone-on-bone movement in the affected joint.”

Mmmm....bone-on-bone movement. A small price to pay for staying on top of your friends’ Instagram activity, perhaps?

One 17-year-old patient seen by Dr. Norman complains of headaches and neck pain.

The problems seen by this Ottawa doctor are just one of the many health concerns associated with heavy smartphone use. From increased blood pressure to insufficient sleep, there seems to be a few risks, particularly with younger users.

Are you worried about the health risks of heavy smartphone use?

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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