Fifty percent of Indian children and teenagers are prone to spinal problems due to the high uses of mobile phones, said a study done by a Mumbai-based hospital. The problem may lead to permanent damage to their cervical spines that could lead to lifelong pain, it said. The neck pain and physical damage sustained from the overuse of one’s mobile phone, tablet or other wireless devices has also been described as ‘Text neck’.
Conducted by Lilavati Hospital, the study said 79 percent of the population between the age group of 18 and 44 have their cell phones with them almost all the time, with only two hours of their waking day spent without their cell phone on hand.
India has the world’s second highest mobile phone users with the figure standing above one billion. “People working on computers most of the day, like software professionals and bank employees, are also prone to feel pain and slight numbness in their neck and shoulders,” said Nirad S. Vengsarkar, orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital.
Due to the overuse of phone, instead of a normal forward curve, patients can be seen to have a backwards curve which can be degenerative, often causing head, neck, shoulder and back pain, said the study.
“The condition can also result in emotional and behavioral changes as the stress can affect the release of happy hormones,” said the study.
“Resting the chin on the chest to look at the phone stretches the spinal cord and brain stem. This can affect respiration, heart rate and blood pressure. It can also mean that happy hormones, such as Endorphins and Serotonin are not released, meaning people can wake up anxious,” said the report.