Are We Controlled By Smartphone? -2021

In recent years the usage of electronic gadgets like smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles tablets, and others are incredibly increasing day by day with their advancement in features and it is becoming common amongst all age groups and gender. In 2010, 5 billion smartphones were own by users which are expected to reach 50 billion by 2020, and this is common among university students, U.S. Vision Council has reported that more than a third of adults use a smartphone and other electronic gadgets 4-6 hours daily.


According to a recent study 79% of individuals between 18-44 years, are having smartphones all the time with them except for two hours, which they spend on walking. Excessive use of smartphones is common in young adults, which includes assignments making, learning, socializing, and leisure activities. With all the benefits, prolong usage of smartphones can cause negative effects and health-related issues like anxiety, depression, obesity, dry eyes syndrome, insomnia, musculoskeletal symptoms including neck and back pain, furthermore it can leads to smartphone addiction which is associated with musculoskeletal problems and psychological disorder.

“Text neck” is a term coined by DR. Dean L. Fishman, a US chiropractor. It is a repetitive stress and over use syndrome caused by prolong forward flexion and bending of neck and head by smartphone user while watching and texting on mobile phone, this problem is growing day by day as the demand and purchase of smartphone is increasing with development of amazing apps which makes our life easy and entertaining leads to prolong sharp stare on screen or holding in our hands to make it see, causing anterior bending of lower cervical spine and posterior bending of upper thoracic spine, results in total stress on neck muscles, turning into forward headed posture extending to upper cross syndrome involving head, neck, upper back and shoulder.

Forward headed posture is malalignment of spine in which head moved forward with vertical reference line causing shortening of cervical extensors and pectoralis muscles and weakness of deep neck flexors and mid thoracic scapular retractors leading towards increase in cervical lordosis, decrease in craniovertebral angle, rounded shoulders and increase in thoracic kyphosis.


Another important element of human musculoskeletal system affected by mobile phone addiction is wrist and hand involving thumb. Smartphone user single-handedly hold smartphones for functioning, recent studies preveil that University students spend on average >3.5 hours texting, emailing, browsing and gaming on their phones, causing repeated flexion/extension of the wrist and complete pressure on thumb resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome, De Quervain tenosynovitis and affect hand grip due to thickening of flexor pollicis longus tendon and median nerve as compare to the non-frequent smartphone users, till date there is little known about the effects of the smartphone on hand and thumb functioning but there are few studies showing thickening of FPL and median nerve on frequent users comprising hand grip and strength as compare to low smartphone users.


Therefore, it is very for us to know the importance of exercises and correct posture to get rid of musculoskeletal disorders due to the overuse of hand gadgets, and also we need to keep in mind that these gadgets are for our assistance and they are in our control rather than us.

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