A new condition dubbed "text neck" is on the increase in the UK, with health professionals blaming the amount of time people spend hunched over their mobile devices, Sky News reported Friday.

The condition is caused by phone users flexing their necks for extended periods of time and can cause permanent arthritic damage if not treated.

In some cases, patients can adapt to the flexed position and it becomes painful to straighten the neck out properly.

Cases of the condition, and other types of repetitive strain injury, have been on the rise as smartphones and tablet computers become increasingly popular.

Rachel Lancaster, of Freedom Back Clinic in Leeds, said she had treated thousands of patients for text neck.

"Text neck is caused by the neck being flexed for a prolonged period of time," she said. "Sufferers are increasing as the use of smartphones and tablet computers become more popular."

She added, "If people continue to put their necks in these positions the body will gradually adapt to the stresses."

Tips for warding off text neck include rotating the shoulders with your arms by your sides, taking regular screen breaks and sitting up straight while texting.

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