Highly advanced gadgets and mobile phones are inevitable phenomena of present-day lives. Can you even think of staying without your mobile phone, Whatsapp, e-mails or even checking social media for more than half a day?
Impossible, right? But what happens if we check our quintessential phones every second? Scientists have coined a term called ‘text necks’ which implies the constant neck pain and the severe jolt on the overall health.
Under normal circumstances, a healthy spine can easily take the weight of 10 pounds of the head. However, as you bend the neck for a long time, the burden on the cervical spine is tremendous enough to hurt it and cause injuries.
The best orthopedic from Punjab, Dr. Tanveer Bhutani, EVA Hospital says you cannot completely eliminate the use of mobile phones completely from the lifestyle, but minimally smart use of mobile phones and a set of few exercises can prevent major injuries to the neck, spinal cord and the body as a whole.
What are the Symptoms of Text Neck?
Frequent use of mobile phones, tablets, and other wireless devices, as well as prolonged texting, implies bending the neck for too long.
This causes health hazards that are difficult to deal with. Waking up irritated, with severe back pain, upper neck sprain, and lesser efficiency are the first and foremost symptoms of neck pain due to the overuse of mobile phones.
The problem can arise right from young children to working professionals and adults alike. Looking down at the screen for a considerable part of the day causes severe and irreparable damage (in some cases) to the cervical spine.
Following are the symptoms that would mean that you have been using the mobile phone way too much:
- Damage to the Upper Back
The patients suffering from excessive texting syndrome wake up with severe, sharp back pains. They often complain of inability to do their daily chores because of stiffness in the back. This may seem like normal back pain but can escalate into chronic back pain if not attended to timely.
Dr. Tanveer Bhutani says this genre of ortho-injuries is fast picking up pace and is harming the millennial generation adversely.
- Damage to the Shoulder
Worse affected by undeterred mobile usage is the shoulder joint and this leads to severe shoulder pain and stiffness. You may even experience shoulder muscle spasm and it will eventually your ability to lift objects or carry out routine tasks.
- Neurological and Psychological Damage
With persistent cervical pain, scientists have proved that there is a possibility of neurological symptoms. The worst pain could lead to arthritis in the neck.
The mental health damage, inability of the brain to respond faster, lack of concentration, lower levels of efficiency, and depression are some of the psychological issues faced by the young and the adults due to excessive disturbance by the constant ‘pings’ on the phone.
- Fatal Health Issues
The effect of text neck is not an overnight symptom. You have suffered from text neck because of using the mobile phone for over a longer period of time. It’s slow yet a dreadful impact. Along with this, the sedentary lifestyle because of excessive mobile phone usage brings in a host of other diseases like blood pressure and heart ailments.
Dr. Tanveer recommends mindfulness and some exercises to get rid of the menace of stiff shoulders and chronic back pains at an early age.
What are the Precautions or Remedies of Neck Pain due to Mobile Phones?
An alarming proportion of the population, approximately about 80% of mobile users have been reported to suffer from text neck syndrome.
The question is can you avoid mobile use completely? The answer is no. Hence Dr. Bhutani, the most reputed orthopedic in Punjab, curates a list of dos and don’ts for quick recovery from text neck and how to prevent the neck from being strained:
- Stretching Regularly
When you are behind the screen for a longer time, make sure you set alarms at regular intervals and do the stretching exercises using minimal resources like your office chair in your cabin. This helps in continuous blood supply to the organs and helps the neck regain strength and vitality.
- Opt for Frequent Breaks
Get up and take a break. Whether you are playing games or working on your mobile and other devices, you must take frequent breaks and time off from the gadget. Let the brain, neck, and back revive strength to work again.
- Hold the Screen Higher
Make it a thumb rule to hold the phone or the laptop screen higher at the level of the eyes so that the neck doesn’t bend too long. This will help in avoiding the text neck syndrome if you work on the gadgets for too long.
- Put the Phone on Silent Mode
This implies taking a complete break from the electronic gadgets, taking a walk, or resting your mind for a while. This, not only helps the neck relax but also helps to rejuvenate the mind.
The text neck is gaining alarming proportion because of the increasing use of mobile phones. In case you are facing persistent back pain, shoulder pain, and stiff neck muscles, consult Dr. Tanveer Bhutani, Eva Hospital, Ludhiana, and get the problem cured before it turns chronic.