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As a student I ended the day with a sore neck and shoulder. I realized I was suffering from the 'text-neck' when this vicious cycle of pain led me to research the name of this condition!
This ongoing pandemic has led to another global pandemic of posture-based health issues. As a student who spends all day on her laptop, attending classes and chasing deadlines, ending the day with a sore neck and shoulder is common. The pain does not subside until the weekend and comes back on Monday.
This vicious cycle of pain and continuous stress led me down a rabbit hole of research to name this devil. In my strenuous research (that I did hunched over a laptop), I stumbled across a condition called “Text Neck”.
Text neck is a term coined by an American Chiropractor Dr. DL Fishman. He used it to describe the pain caused in the neck due to stress. This stress stems particularly from spending long hours with our neck hung low while using handheld devices like phones or laptops.
Having our necks continuously in one position with no rest and constant tension leads to this immense pain.
Text neck is not just an isolated issue that we have, it affects the functioning of our entire body. Some of the major affects on our body cause by text neck are on:
Our stomachs are affected by everything. From anxiety to posture. Being inactive for huge amounts of time can lower your metabolism. This happens due to decreased muscle movement. So, text neck will not just go for your neck but also for your stomach.
This one is pretty obvious but extremely important. Continuously having text neck can sometimes influence our posture permanently. Text neck puts pressure on our lumbar muscles and may lead to a contraction in or posture which will push our head forward and lead to a permanent hunch.
We usually have text neck when we are spending a lot of time on our electronic devices. This inadvertently leads to a lack of social interaction. Continuous lack of socialisation may lead to feeling of loneliness. On top of this we might lack vitamin d which also catalyses depression.
Text neck’s most prominent repercussions include a chronic pain that lasts a life time and is very hard to get rid of. This in turn will lower your quality and ease of life.
To prevent a plethora of problems to come our way, we must make some lifestyle changes. Neck stretching exercises have shown miraculous results.
It is important to take breaks between our screen time. If however our work schedules don’t allow that; it is only exercise that can help us get rid of neck issues. Neck stretching could just include titling our heads sideways and up and down and relaxing the muscles. Such small steps can go a long way in keeping us healthy.
There are exercises that help relieve neck pain. If the exercises are done on a regularly, they can help prevent neck pain. Simple neck stretches and exercises will increase blood flow through the targeted area. Such small steps can go a long way in keeping our mind and body healthy while working in a sedentary lifestyle.
Image source: Still from Tamasha
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