Too much cellphone use can give you 'text neck', say doctors

Too much cellphone use can give you 'text neck', say doctors

Too much cellphone use can give you 'text neck', say doctors

People who use cellphones excessively are more prone to suffer from neck and spine-related problems, a condition that doctors term ‘text neck.’

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Dr Arjun Srivatsa, senior consultant and neurosurgeon, Columbia Asia Hospitals, said text neck was a modern-day ailment affecting many tech-savvy Bengalureans.

 “The City has witnessed a spurt in the number of people suffering from text neck. Most people use cellphones or other hand-held devices for long hours and tend to put their head down while texting. This puts a lot of pressure on the neck,” he said. However, those who use laptops or desktops are less likely to suffer from this condition because the devices are usually placed at eye level, he added.

Odd postures and overuse of hand-held devices causes a sprain in the neck muscles and this could also affect the ligaments in the area. The condition is typically characterised by headaches, pain in the neck, spasms or tightening of the hand muscles.

Saritha Nair, 33, a software developer, suffered from constant headaches and stiffness in the neck for more than six months. When the pain became unbearable, she visited the doctor and was diagnosed with text neck.

At least close to eight cases are seen per week and most of the patients are usually employed in the IT sector, said Dr Srivatsa.

“Most of the people suffering from this condition are techies. IT professionals tend to spend a good amount of time travelling and use hand-held devices for long hours to either text or read,” he explained.

He said people needed to stop using cellphones for long hours and cut down on text messaging.

For those suffering from text neck, physiotherapy and massages could help relieve the pain. However, if not treated in the early stages, in the long-term, it could lead to arthritis, disk problems or even spinal degeneration.

Joint pain

Joint pain is another common complaint among patients. “They come with pain in the thumb, fingertips, wrists and joints. This is typically due to cellphone addiction,” said Dr Ajit Benedict Royan, Medical Director, Hosmat Hospital.

For those with spondylitis, using the phone for long periods could aggravate the condition, he added.

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