Beware of ‘text neck’ and other physical problems that are becoming endemic
In today’s world, mobile phones have become a vital part of our lives, and it’s hard to imagine life without them. However, as much as we love them, they also have a downside. Over the past few years, the number of people experiencing musculoskeletal problems due to mobile phone usage has been on the rise. According to a study, prolonged mobile phone usage can cause various musculoskeletal problems, such as neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, and hand pain.
One of the most common problems associated with mobile phone usage is neck pain, sometimes known as ‘text neck.’ When people use their mobile phones, they tend to bend their necks and hold their heads down to view the screen. An adult head weighs around 5kg, and this imbalanced posture results in increased pressure on the neck muscles and cervical spine. This can cause pain, stiffness, and even headaches. Over time, it can lead to chronic neck pain, as well as pain, tingling or numbness in the arms and hands, which can be challenging to treat. A mobile phone should never be cradled between ear and shoulder due to the damage this can do to the neck – go for hands-free devices to take care of your spine.
Another common musculoskeletal problem associated with mobile phones is shoulder pain, which can be caused by constant lifting and holding of the phone, along with nerve root irritation in the neck from the ‘text neck’ posture. Holding a mobile phone for an extended period can lead to shoulder pain, which can make even simple tasks, like dressing or lifting a bag, difficult.
The list goes on – mobile phone usage can also cause back pain. When people use their mobile phones for an extended period, there is a tendency to slouch, which can cause muscle imbalances, leading to back pain. Over time, this can lead to postural problems that can be challenging to correct.
Mobile phone usage can also cause hand and wrist pain, especially in people who use their phones for gaming or typing. This can lead to overuse injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which can be painful and debilitating.
Mobile phones have become an essential part of our lives, and we cannot avoid using them. However, it’s important to be aware of the musculoskeletal problems they can cause and take measures to prevent them. Simple actions, such as taking breaks from phone usage, using a hands-free device such as a headset or wireless earbuds, or speakerphone, and maintaining good posture can go a long way to prevent mobile phone-related musculoskeletal problems.