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‘Gameboy Back’ and Other 21st Century Ailments

Over the course of human history our battle with sickness is one of adapt-evolve, adapt-evolve. And then there are those health problems we bring on ourselves, be it through bad habits, or unhealthy living. Well, now we have a whole new problem uniquely tailored to our 21st century lifestyle –a new medical condition that researchers are calling Gameboy Back.

Basically, this new phenomena which is affecting people regardless of their age, is due to a curvature of the spine which now afflicts millions of us who spend much of our day hunched over computer keyboards, games consoles and other handheld devices such as smartphones and iPads.

Perhaps most alarming is that it is becoming common among the the long-considered indestructible eight to 18-year-olds, who more and more often visit their family doctors complaining of mystery back pains previously seen only in adults over 50.

According to Dr. Jong D. Suh from The One MRI Clinic in Centum City, it is something even the youngest amongst us can no longer ignore.

Due to long hours of computer work and using smart phones, more young people are contracting spine problems, said Suh who studied radiology and nuclear medicine for 12 years in the US before recently returning to open his practice in Korea.

According to studies According to the American Chiropractic Association Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain and skeletal-related problems causing a whopping 7.6 million working days to be lost due to work-related back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders in 2011.

And it’s not just an American problem says a study by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research which estimates that as many as 80% of the world population will experience a back problems at some time in their life.

Suh said that aside of technology tipping the scales, people should additionally be mindful that even that hard fought win at beach volleyball or that leisurely morning jog can cause problems.

A lot of young people with a ‘healthy lifestyle’ need to remember that joint trauma can have diverse effects for their long term health and comfort, he said. Musculoskeletal trauma shouldn’t be ignored to prevent late complications, deformity and depression.

Suh sees it all the time in his diagnostic clinic and encourages people to take the time to get a free consultation before problems increase.

We’re all brought up learning that prevention is the best medicine that it’s almost cliche, but after being in the medical field for all these years, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of taking a break from life and getting at least a checkup.




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