A Modern Spine Ailment: Text Neck

A Modern Spine Ailment: Text Neck

Text Neck – A Rising Epidemic

Text Neck is becoming an outbreak that could lead to permanent muscle dysfunction, according to recent studies. The position in human muscles bend as they look at phones increases the tension on the neck and can cause excessive stress. The issue has become prevalent under the age of 30 and even in kids with ages between 8-12 years that doctors are willing to declare it an epidemic which is rapidly increasing in upcoming generations.

A recent survey conducted showed 79 percent of the sample population size between the ages of 18-44 suffered from text neck, browsing on cell phone continuously for 2 hours in same directions. This leads to various spinal problems.

Symptoms of these problems include nagging back pain, frequent spasms, and shoulder pressure and tightness.

Smartphone-Related Neck Pain on the Increase!

While using cellphone, users typically bend their necks slightly forward. They also sometimes bend or twist their neck sideways, these postures put uneven pressure on the spine’s soft tissues, which can lead to discomfort and pain at the back side of neck.

The findings discovered problems arise with improper postures of the chest, trunk and leg which contribute to musculoskeletal disorders. At the moment, almost 4.3 billion smartphone users are placing their necks at risk each time they send a message or bending their neck for cell phone browsing.

Musculoskeletal disorders neck pain, neck and upper extremity musculoskeletal problems are common in modern culture and both indicate an increasing trend. Many previous reviews suggested a direct relationship between computer work and neck and arm musculoskeletal problems. The epidemiological studies concerning computer use and musculoskeletal health factors are mainly leads to musculoskeletal symptoms.

Most mobile phone users are suffering from ‘Text Neck’

The number of cell phone users are rapidly increasing day by day, and so the text neck issue, various researchers are conducted to cure the text neck issue in young generations and adults.
The estimated amount cell phone users worldwide is 4.3 billion approximately. Hence the prevalence of this disease is found in every individual, currently no social services or corporate social responsibility activities are activated to spread awareness campaign regarding this disease, hence the issue is critical and can effect upcoming generations as well.

What could be the Future? Dysfunctional DNA

Telomeres are sequences of repeated DNA that bind the ends of every chromosome. For genomic stability and cellular viability, their proper maintenance is important. Dysfunctional telomeres may be caused by natural depletion of telomeric DNA or by loss of important components. TIF identification in telomeres provides an opportunity to measure the level of telomeric dysfunction. Hence adapt the bending neck posture for long time can lead to dysfunctional DNA, and effect upcoming generations.

Various researches been carried out, and still under consideration to prove either bending neck posture can effect DNA, or some other factors are also involved in it.

 

Text Neck: A Growing Epidemic

Text Neck: A growing epidemic

If you’re reading this text from a hand held device and constantly slouching there is a very high chance that you will get text neck. Text neck is a real epidemic and as the title suggests “a growing syndrome”. The term “Text neck” was coined by a chiropractor Dr Dean L Fisherman in the US, but it is also known as turtle neck posture. It is said that people spend around 5 hours daily viewing their cell phones which leads to different types of aches in the body.

Along with the advancement in technology, there has been an increase of unprecedented nature in the need and use of mobiles. Handheld devices like smart phones, e-readers and computer tablets are seen in almost every household and are used without paying much heed to the consequences. How alarming is the fact that this condition is affecting everyone- from children to adults. The severity of the problem should be determined from the fact that it is not only the cause of neck pain but other multitude of health concerns.

The symptoms:

The symptoms of text neck do not take much long to manifest. The minute you bend your head forward and downward to read from the device and keep repeating this action for a long period of time you make yourself prone to issues in the cervical spine. The bending of neck puts a strain of atleast 27 pounds on our neck. The more the bending of the neck, the greater the strain on the cervical spine which leaves the spine vulnerable to stiffness, pain and sprain leading to repetitive stress syndrome. Following are some serious health implications and symptoms:

Stiff neck:

There is a difficulty encountered in moving the head sideways when neck and cervical spine get stiff and fatigued. This is the resultant of holding your cell phone for too long.

Muscle weakness:

Muscular weakness is another symptom of text neck. Trapezius muscle and shoulder rotator muscle are the most affected and vulnerable.

Headache:

Tension type headaches can result from tightness in the sub-occipital muscle.

Ostheoarthritis:

Cervical spondylosis or early onset of cervical spine osteoarthritis is another health concern associated with text neck.

Damage to lung capacity:
Lung functioning is also undermined as lungs lose the ability to function at optimum.

Disc compression:

Prolonged and unnecessary use of smartphone can also lead to compression of cervical spine inter vertebral discs

Management:

Managing text neck could be easy if due care is taken. Following steps are to be taken for preventing text neck:

  • Avoid excessive use of hand-held devices and take regular breaks in between if required.
  • Position your device such that it places minimum strain on your neck and shoulders
  • Refrain from prolonged typing and holding one device for long.
  • Use pillows which supports neck and spinal alignment.
  • Use icing or heat to give relief to the affected region and use a doctor-prescribed steroid if the pain doesn’t go away.
  • Physiotherapy which includes mobilization and stretching and do regular exercises which include neck rotation and side bending.

Ref: https://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/opinion/text-neck-a-modern-epidemic/