A new jargon is sprouting up in medical news i.e. text neck. Advances in digital technology are boon to the human race with the advent of cell phones and tablets. This in other way is bane to health of individuals. Text neck is coined by US chiropractor Dr Dean L.Fishman.
There are many scientific studies depicting that at least 60 percent of the population aged 18 to 45 years using these modern gadgets suffer from text neck.Text neck is a repetitive stress injury to the neck. It's a type of overuse syndrome. In this modern age with invent of cell phones, tablets, e-readers people are spending lots of time on these devices. People bend their neck forward in awkward position for prolonged times which puts abnormal stresses in neck muscles resulting in text neck.
Bio mechanical reason for causing text neck
When your neck is in a neutral position at zero degrees 4.5 kg to 6.35 Kg of pressure is borne on the neck. Bending the head to 15 degrees will increase the pressure on the neck to 12.24 kg. There will be a sequential increase of pressure on neck up to 18.14 kgs at 30 degrees, 22.22 kgs at 45 degrees, 27.12 Kgs at 60 degrees of neck flexion. This, in turn, puts excessive stress on neck muscles resulting in pain and stiffness.
1. Neck pain and soreness: due to constant bending of neck and abnormal loads being transmitted across neck muscles results in discomfort and soreness around neck
2. Shoulder pain and stiffness: Holding the handheld gadget in specific stable position results in shoulder pain and stiffness.
3. Upper back pain: muscles around the upper back go into spasm resulting in nagging pain in and around the upper spine.
4. Pinched nerve: symptoms of the pinched nerve can occur due to a chronic use of these gadgets, may lead to pain radiating to upper limbs down to hand and fingers.
Prevention is the best cure – but most of them defer
1. Use gadgets only when necessary
2. Adjust the height of cell phone or laptop or any handheld device at the level of the eye so that there is no need to bend your head.
3. Take frequent breaks when using these devices.
4. Ergonomic posture at your workplace
5. Neck and upper back stretches
In conclusion, you need to maintain a proper posture of the neck in such a way that you avoid prolonged bending of head over these modern gadgets.