Free Press Journal

Indore: Text Neck Syndrome Dark side of smartphone romance


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Indore: Smartphones and other hand held devices are indeed making our lives easier and simpler by enabling us get connected and stay updated; but as we know, every coin has two sides.  The darker side of being plugged with the electronic gadgets is a disease called Text Neck Syndrome, which is silently but swiftly increasing among people in city and especially the young ones. After all, staring at the screen for hours is bound to put pressure on spine and subsequent degeneration.

According to renowned spine and pain physician Dr Pravesh Kanthed, “Prevalence of the disease in Indore is around 20-25 per cent and the number is increasing. Spine diseases like osteoarthritis and others were earlier believed to be some old age problems, but we now have more young patients than the old one.”

Dr Kanthed sees about 20 patients with Text Neck Syndrome every month. Some of them belong to the age group as young as 15 years. The scenario is nothing better all together, as every one out of four patients is suffering from spine pain and disorders around the world.

“With 10 per cent bend of neck, we give 10 pounds extra pressure on the cervical. So, if one remains bent for an hour for 50 degrees, it means he or she is putting 50 pounds pressure on his cervical, which would further lead to stiffness, pain and other problems. Neglecting the disease can lead to arthritis, spine imbalance and slip disk,” the expert said.

Talking about the symptoms of the disease, Dr Kanthed said that early detection of the problem can be helpful in avoiding permanent damage. “If you are stuck in an unnatural posture of looking down for a continuous prolonged period of time, it will result in extreme soreness and neck pains, cramping and tightening of muscles serves across the shoulders, severe chronic headaches, dizziness and numbness and tingling in fingers,” the doctor added.

He, however, suggested a number of measures, including taking regular breaks during work, to keep text neck syndrome and other spine related diseases at bay.

HEALTHY SPINE Prevention better than cure

– Raise devices: Move cell phone (and other devices) to eye level so head needn’t have to be tilted
– Take frequent breaks: Spend some time away from phone or any type of head-forward posture. Change positions when texting. Lying on one’s back is an excellent way to relieve pressure on neck
– Stand up straight: Good posture, with shoulders pulled back, keeps body aligned in a neutral position
– Arch and stretch: Arch neck and upper back backward periodically to ease muscle pain
– Stay fit: A strong, flexible back and neck are more capable of handling extra stress