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Do you suffer from back and neck pain? Improper use of cell phones could also be the reason

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Image source: FREEPIK Representative image of a man suffering from neck and back pain.

With the increasing addiction to mobile phones, people have also become victims of degenerative changes in the spine, especially in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions. Our posture at the time of receiving and making mobile phone calls is likely to lead to musculoskeletal problems. A number of studies have linked poor posture while using phones to pain and dysfunction.

The body’s joints experience wear and tear while it’s active and are repaired while it’s resting. If we use the joints in an abnormal position for a long time or press the joints in one position for long periods, they will suffer more wear and a single point will appear where the wear and tear will be more as compared to the repairs, Dr Uma Kumar, Head of Rheumatology, AIIMS, told IANS. The degeneration will begin in the joints.

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“When we hold the mobile phone in our hands, not only the fingers are used, but our hands, elbow, muscles and neck are used because we usually watch the phone while bending the neck from the basic position that is above the head and completely straight,” Dr. Kumar said.

The AIIMS doctor said that there is a constant weight of the brain, skull, and muscles on the neck projecting onto the cervical spine. So if we work or watch the mobile phone in the wrong way, the weight proportionally increases the pressure on the spine and muscles causing pains.

“When you tilt your head or lean forward, the cervical spine (neck) muscles, tendons, and ligaments support the head. During neck exercises, the intervertebral discs in the neck help absorb and distribute force evenly,” said Dr. Kumar. Talking about the increasing number of such patients, Dr. Kumar added, “We often meet in outpatient clinics with such patients who complain of pain in the waist, fingers or neck due to wrong posture.”

Dr. Kumar warned that a long-term forward head position may also increase the risk of accelerated degenerative changes in the spine. I advised instead to tilt the head down, keep it up, and bring the mobile phone and laptop to meet the eyes. “Our head weighs about 5 to 8 kg, if we tilt it in any direction, it will put more pressure on the supporting neck muscles, due to the force of gravity, but in a long-term static position (prolonged sitting at the computer and using Bone and Joint Institute, Fortis Escort Hospital: “From a mobile phone) will lead to muscle fatigue, pain and degenerative disorders due to prolonged chronic poor posture.”

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Dr. Mishra said, “If our neck is in the normal position, we bear 5.4 kg of weight on the neck, if the head is tilted 15 degrees forward, the weight will rise to 12.2 kg, and if it is tilted by 30 degrees, the weight will be 18.1 kg. If it is 45 degrees The weight is 22.2 kg, and if the head is tilted at 60 degrees, the weight on the neck becomes 27.2 kg.”

“This is why it is necessary to pay attention to posture while using a mobile phone and laptop to avoid pain and discomfort. When the neck and shoulder move forward, the muscles in the front become tight and the back side becomes weaker and thus leads to muscle imbalance,” said Dr. Mishra. Dr. Mishra told IANS Proper posture, good ergonomics, and above all, strengthening the neck muscles will be the best prevention as well as treatment for neck, shoulder and upper back pain.

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