I clearly remember I was on COVID-19 monitoring duty round the clock and constantly on my mobile and laptop. After almost two weeks of continuous work, I had sudden nausea and fell flat on the bed. Thankfully, my friend Dr Monika Maheswari was there to take care of me. But I had this stiffness in my neck, which disabled me to even move it a bit. It was very irritating, since I had to work and my body wasn’t allowing me to do it. Even pain killers didn’t help.
That was the time when I talked with Dr Vinit Kumar, who told me about Text Neck Syndrome happening during this lockdown either due to excess work over phones or laptops with wrong postures. These are the areas that he touched along with the solutions to it:
Dr Vinit refers that this COVID-19 has brought around a lockdown which we were not ready for. The infinite future and adjustment to this “New Normal” have given rise to a number of shocking aspects which the people had least thought about. Along with surfaced hidden demons of mental illnesses, it has slowly opened the doors to an unknown guest termed as, “Text Neck Syndrome”.
During this lockdown, all of us have become more digitally prone. We all are suffering from this “Text Neck Syndrome”, but children are the most affected ones. Their online classes have been one of the causes. Indeed, it is for their better future. Due to the lockdown and the fear of spread of infection, they weren’t allowed to go out of their homes to play. But then, the easiest way to keep them from troubling the parents is to hand them over a mobile phone or a laptop, instead of engaging them in some household work or handicrafts or reading books or any other indoor co-curricular activities. Of course, there are always some exceptional cases.
But we need to understand that this mobile usage has increased tremendously during this lockdown. Even, different multinational companies also making new applications for online classes for mobile devices. As the lockdown activation levels decreases yet some younger adults use their mobiles at night to watch streaming videos and movies because of fast network connectivity and lesser disturbances. Healthy life style has been effected due to lack of physical exercises, walkings and other outdoor games. Usage of mobiles have some good as wel as bad effects. Besides being a source of communication and informations the mobile over-use in children and younger adults have chances of postural disorders that can’t be ignored.
With the increased use of mobiles and gadgets in society the most harm and pain related disorders are due to postures. A correct posture is very important and should be introduced as an important activity in our living. People using good postural techniques can work on their gadgets for minimum time with maximum concentration and work being accomplished. While those with bad postures may lead to harms to both ones neck and back and in medical terms is defined as “Text Neck Syndrome”. The most concerned population right now in effect of this syndrome are the children with their greater propensity to mobile phone usage.
It refers to repetitive stress when the head is hung forward and down while using mobile for extended period of time. This injury if can’t treated can lead to inflammations of the neck muscles, ligaments, and nerves, as well as increased curvature of spine.
(More you crane your neck, the more weight it has to carry)
Flexing the head forward to use a mobile device directly affects the spine, so as head tilts more forward more force will be on neck. Damage caused by untreated text neck can be similar to occupational overuse syndrome or repetitive stress / strain injury.
Prevention is the key when it comes to text neck syndrome, it requires a little self-discipline and awareness.
If discomfort starts, go for neck rehabilitation and postural corrective exercises.