Children as young as 11 are presenting with back pain due to technology

Instances of "texter's thumb" on the up as are other tech-induced ailments

Children as young as 11 are presenting with back pain due to technology

[Philip Toscano/PA Wire/PA Images]

The first iPhone device was unveiled in 2007. Since that time, smartphones have become the everyday norm for us. While they make many things easier for us, the number of smartphone-related ailments is on the rise. 

Have you experienced "texter's thumb"? This is the name given to the pain in the fingers from too much texting. What about "texter's neck"? This occurs as a result of sitting with prolonged poor posture whilst using our phones. 

These are just two of the ailments mentioned by osteopath Nicholas Flood on High Noon with George Hook today. Mr. Flood said many issues are impacting young children who use technology. 

"What we're seeing is young children, anywhere from 11 years to teenagers, presenting with back pain. It's really quite staggering. We diagnose it by placing a child flat on the ground and bring one leg up. This is called the 'single leg raise'. We see children coming in with the leg raises of someone who has been working in an office for 20 or 30 years." 

Mr. Flood explained how children today are less flexible today than they were in previous years. Studies show that the consistent amount of time children spend with IT is having a negative impact on children, according to Flood. 

What is worrying about this trend is that it is leading to the changing shape of children's spines. 

A remarkable symptom of extensive technology use, witnessed by Flood, is that the shape of children's spines is changing. 

"We're seeing kids coming in who are presenting with a curve in the spine."


The issue of poor posture does not only impact children, however. Mr. Flood explained how office culture is a massive contributing factor to the bad posture of adults.

"If you're sitting in a seat, you're in a contracted environment, so you need to stand up and walk around. There is a thing called 'reformer pilates', which works to build up strength. If you have good strength in the lower back, it will hold you up much better."