In all probability, you are reading this article looking down at your smartphone screen or peering into your laptop with your neck and shoulders bending forward…
Stop ! If this posture becomes part of your lifestyle, it can render you with a ‘Text-Neck’, a modern day ailment that most people have begun to suffer from now.
Text-neck is a term used to describe people suffering from neck pain coupled with postural changes when the head is forward, shoulders rounded and bent from the back. A similar situation can occur if you sit at a computer screen everyday for a long period of time. You may find that you will suffer from back and neck pains, due to bad posture. Office Desks and office chairs may be the reason for this issue, so maybe it is time for a change. The issue for text-neck pain is the amount of time you spend staring at your phone screen daily.
Several people Pune365 spoke with confessed to having noticed changes in their posture over time leading to pain in their neck, lower back and spine.
Padma Mahajan a head hunter with a city corporate, agrees that the years of working on the desktop has lead to a permanent change in her body posture and increase in frequent neck pain.
“I can see myself slouching even while standing normally or while sitting without any back support. Earlier I didn’t bother about this, but I now consciously make an effort to correct my posture.
“The ten years of incorrect posture and lack of regular upper body exercises have affected me a lot.
“To avoid this, I have started taking staircase, keep walking to my colleagues instead of just calling or texting them. I also take frequent short breaks and do some basic stretching,” Padma adds.
City expert, Dr Rakesh Varyani, (Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapist) talks to Pune365 about this increasing modern day ailment and shares his expertise to prevent it.
“Text neck results from the excessive usage of smartphones/computers where lots of texting/watching is done.
The ratio of people suffering from it is increasing and is commonly seen in teenagers (often due to mobile usage) and people who are heavy users of computers.
“The major reasons are increased activities in front of computers or mobile gadgets resulting in poor posture, stiff neck, pain, soreness in muscles, headaches, radiating pain in arms etc.
To prevent it from occurring people should look into adopting some of these lifestyle changes:
Avoid spending long hours on computers or mobile gadgets.
Take frequent breaks.
Correction of posture at work.
Ergonomics at work i.e having a foot rest, back supporting seat, keeping computer screen at eye level.
Exercises-chin tucks, neck rotation and side bending exercises, holding shoulders behind and down.
“Rehabilitation in case a person is suffering from it, is in the form of strength and stretching exercises, ice/heat modalities, dry needing, taping techniques, joint mobilisations or posture correction exercises in any form.
These methods can be combined and used depending on the severity of text-neck.
“Text neck if not treated can lead to long term damage like a permanent change of posture, increased forward bend from upper back (khyposis), early degeneration, muscle weakness and lowering lung capacity,” adds Dr Varyani.
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