FAIRFAX, Va. (WUSA9) -- Cell phones, tablets, laptops, everywhere you go people are glued to their devices. Mobile electronic use has grown significantly over the past decade, and so has the number of people suffering from back pain.
Dr. Ali Ganjei, Medical Director of the Inova Spine Institute says, "The most common cause of making back pain is when people don't follow correct body mechanics, and we see this most often when people use tablets or iPhones."
Take a look, people are hunched over or have slouched posture while using tablets and mobile phones. This can lead to neck and upper back strain.
"We don't recommend that you hold the device at a lower level, that would put the neck at an ergonomically disadvantagous situation," adds Dr. Ganjei.
A survey from the British health provider, Simplyhealth, gives astounding numbers 84 percent of 18-24 year olds have admitted some sort of back pain in the last 12 months.
So what is the correct posture for using electronics? Physical Therapist Beena Nair of Inova Spine Center demonstrates a better way to use these devices without harming your back.
Nair says, "Using the tablet for a short period of time, you need to hold it like a book with both of the hands, make sure your neck and upper back is in a neutral position, your arms and shoulders are relaxed, and your eye level is to the screen or a bit below."
This is also important for using cell phones.
For keeping a tablet screen or laptop at eye level, you may need a prop-up case or a stand. This way, you are not bending your neck while watching a movie or TV show.
Good leg support and back support for using computers is also important, your back will thank you later.
Nair says, "It takes the stress off your spine."
An external keyboard is highly recommended for tablets if you are using them for long periods of time.
It not only helps get you a better posture but helps with avoiding overuse like carpal tunnel," adds Nair.
This type of back pain is reversible. Experts say with proper posture and body mechanics over a period of time the lower neck pain will eventually go away.