Do you have tech neck?

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s not hard to look around the area you’re in and see at least one piece of technology, and more than likely one piece of it is constantly in your hand.

But experts say gazing down at your phone or tablet can cause pain over time.

Whether it’s checking social media or getting work done– technology plays a major role in our lives.

Eric Yost is a general contractor and says a day doesn’t go by where he isn’t locking eyes with a screen.

“The number one thing I do is coordination, supervision and budgeting. To do that, I am always on my phone, on the computer looking at files, I’m constantly focused on something that I’m usually holding in my hands,” Yost said.

Several months ago, Yost began noticing pain from his lower back to his neck, making everyday tasks like walking or sitting up difficult.

That’s when he sought out Dr. Nate DeJong at Highest Health Chiropractic.

“So in Eric’s case he had a negative 3 degree curve, you can see simply just how straight it is,” DeJong said.

He says a normal neck x-ray should display a banana like curve, but paired with constantly looking down, the curve begins to straighten.

“Tech neck is chronic stress that we see placed on the spine from people maintaining long periods of time holding posture where they’re looking down like this. Now that could be looking at a phone, that could be looking at a computer, we see kids now that are glued to tablets,” Dr. Nate DeJong said.

Technology is becoming more relevant to kids at younger and younger ages, which DeJong says can lead to long term health issues, such as heart or lung problems.

“When you do this, that also increases the roundness of our middle back. That puts a lot of pressure on those parts of the spine that come out and support our vital organs through this area. It increases mortality significantly later on in life, it’s a big problem,” DeJong said.

Seeing an expert can potentially reverse your issues, but there are also preventative measures you can take– like holding your phone or tablet at eye level.

Even simple changes like raising or lowering your chair to make your monitor eye level can make a big difference.

After three months of treatment and lifestyle modifications that keep his tech at eye level, Yost is now pain free.

“I came in, I listened, I decided to give it a try and it’s made a bigger difference than probably anything I’ve ever done with my health,” Yost said.

For more information on treatment, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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