Are smartphones a pain in the neck?

Saturday 12 March 2016 

"An eight year old sitting on your head!" 



According to research carried out by a Neuro and Spine Surgery specialist in New York,  smartphones could lead to permanent damage.

The neck pain and damage caused by overuse of smartphones, tablets etc has become so widespread that there’s a new buzzword for it, Text neck.

Our posture when we use our smartphones for long periods of time, according to Dr Kenneth Hansraj, increases stress on the neck and can cause excessive wear and tear that may eventually require an operation to correct it.

Our poor posture when using these devices, includes hunching, head leaning forward, and head hanging down. In fact our smartphone posture has been likened to having an eight year old sitting on your head! 



Problems associated with these devices have been around for a while; for some time now people have complained of repetitive strain issues, such as laptop shoulders (hunched over a laptop) and iPad hand (swiping the screen). However with the increase in use of these types of technology, the subsequent  problems are also on the rise, especially among our schoolchildren.  

In a survey carried out this autumn by the consultancy ComRes for Channel 4 News in the UK, children spend on average 3 hours a day on their devices and nearly half of the children were considered to be addicted to their smartphones or tablets.

We’ve been made aware for many years about the impact on the spine of heavy backpacks carried by our schoolchildren. Now the rise in use of smartphones and tablets, coupled with more sedentary lifestyles is potentially creating more ailments, not only for our children but for all of us.

So what do we do, give up on technology? With tablets and smartphones continuing to top the Christmas lists, that’s hardly likely to happen.

Being much more aware of our posture and the potential problem is a great first step. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of simple things such as taking regular breaks, moving around more, pulling your shoulders back, keeping your head straight, stretching, and massage.


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