21st Century Ailments

November 24, 2015 | By | Reply

Does your child have an iPosture or Text Head or Text Claw?
These are ailments caused by our smart phones, gadgets and other technological devices.
Smart phones are the key to our social lives, things like google maps is our route planner and our smartphones are music players too. As much as they are important they also come with a host of health problems from poor posture to mental distress.

The term is being used to describe the stooped body shape adopted by those people who are addicted to texting, emailing or playing games on their Tablets or smartphone.

Too much Candy Crush or typing on a phone can create feeling of soreness and cramping in the fingers, wrist and forearm.

21st Century Ailments

  • Text claw is a result of repetitive movement of the fingers and thumb. Most people work on their phones with their thumbs and in a position that’s not natural for the thumb and wrist joints.
  • This can lead to tendinitis which is inflammation of the tendons.
  • Symptoms can be reduced by using a light touch on keypads, not gripping your phone too hard and maintaining a good posture as neck muscles are connected to thumb muscles.

Constantly bent posture during gadget use leads to poky head posture.

21st Century Ailments

  • Forward head posture is when head is in front of your shoulders, rather than lined up with the shoulders.  It has also been referred to as text neck
  • This forward neck and head posture is what is naturally assumed when we are using these devices for long periods of time.  As our head moves forward, we flatten the curves in the neck, and some muscles in the neck become tight and weak.
  • Over the long term, this position becomes a habit so that we begin to assume this position even when we are not using these devices.

Facts about a ‘Gadget Addict’:

  • An average gadget addict checks the phone at least 150 times/16 hours of waking day
  • Sleep texting (i.e. even in the middle of the night get up to check phone –> revert –> sleep again, leading to severely disrupted sleep)
  • Nomophobia means phobia of being without phone
  • Phantom Vibration Syndrome (the feeling of receiving a msg/call assuming that the phone vibrated but in reality it has not rung or vibrated)
  • Dry eye syndrome – People who sleep immediately post using gadgets or while using gadgets tend to get up with dry eyes and usually start their day feeling less fresh and tired as they have missed out on the deep sleep.

The human head weighs approximately 10lbs(5-6 kgs). So when it tilts forward for a longer period of time, it exerts extra pressure on the spine causing –

  • Neck pain
  • Low back pain
  • Headache
  • Shoulder and upper back pain

Kids nowadays start using gadgets at a very raw age. They are still growing and at this stage they mould to what we put them through. The wrong posture that they adopt while using gadgets may or may not have ill effects now but they surely will have its repercussions later in life.

4 Tips to avoid this back pain syndrome:

When standing, picture a straight line from your ear to your ankle which would touch your shoulder, hip, and knee.

While sitting, engage your core muscles (bring your belly button toward your spine) and keep your shoulders pulled back and down to help maintain proper posture.

Limit the amount of time spent in one position while on your phone.
If you absolutely need to spend time on your phone, correct your body position frequently, especially your neck.
Try sitting and bringing your hands up to eye level instead of constantly looking down. The key is to not spend too much time in one position.
When the body is static for longer than an hour, muscle fatigue sets in. If this is done consistently day to day, changes in posture will occur.

Post long hours of sitting in front of computers or gadget use it is recommended that one lie flat on the floor daily for 15 minutes with a towel/pillow supporting the neck.
We highly recommend these moves for anyone who uses mobile device often and for long. Hold your chin high and you will also be on your way to better sleep and reduced pain

We at PHYSIOREHAB work in a very child friendly approach when it comes to taking care of our young patients.
We reinforce the correct posture by making them realize its importance. We make it interesting, fun and challenging at the same time. Use of props, biofeedback, scoring system is how we try and make it more engaging and less monotonous.

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