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You Can Blame Your Smartphone for Those ‘Searing’ Headaches

iPhone Android Smartphone Occipital Neuralgia

Last November, I half-jokingly said that the iPhone might be killing you softly while talking about two medical studies that detailed smartphone-related conditions. In particular, one of them said that most smartphone users might be hurting their necks by looking down at the device, especially when reading and texting. As it turns out, such heavy smartphone use does have unwanted effects on your body, including “searing headaches,” new report claims.

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That’s what happened to Gizmodo’s Adam Clark Estes, who eventually had to visit a New York University doctor’s office to sort out his problem.

“A few months ago I started getting headaches, and they were weird,” he describes his problem. “If a bad hangover headache feels splitting, I’d describe these headaches as searing, as if someone had hit me over the head with a red-hot rod of steel sending electric bolts of pain across my skull.”

Doctor Myrna Cardiel offered him a diagnosis after a 20-minute long examination: Occipital neuralgia, which appears to be quite common with a certain demographic.

Further advancing with her questionnaire, she asked Estes whether he works on a laptop or desktop a lot and whether he does anything that could strain neck muscles.

“What about smartphone usage?” Estes asked. “I’m constantly craning my neck to look down at my phone. Maybe that has something to do with it.”

“You know what,” Dr. Cardiel replied. “I’ve been a practicing neurologist for 10 years, and I’ve seen cases of this condition skyrocket since smartphones became popular. I should write a paper.”

A recent study – the one I mentioned above – says that people who look down at their iPhones or Android smartphones at a 60-degree angle practically add 60 pounds of pressure on their necks (see image above), something that could lead to such a medical condition.

A precise treatment for this medical condition doesn’t exist. Smartphone users experiencing similar symptoms should improve their posture when using the smartphone, should consider massage therapy and above all, shoud absolutely see a doctor who can set a definitive diagnosis and offer a symptomatic treatment for relieving pain.

More details about Estes’ apparently smartphone-induced occipital neuralgia are available at the source link below.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.