Smartphone addiction can cause cervical pain in children
"Poor position while sitting or sleeping, or studying or while using the computer, smartphone, or television for long hours without altering their position and sitting inappropriately leads to neck and back pain from a very young age."
Is your child complaining of neck pain or backache? Limit their exposure to digital screens and gadgets.
Back and neck pain occur due to excessive strain on the spine, and are often cervical pain, which has become the most common form of pain to happen in a child’s body, according to Dr Ravichandra Kelkar, Consultant – Orthopedics, Columbia Asia Hospital Hebbal.
Cervical pain in children usually can happen due to the following reasons:
1. Being in a fixed position for long hours
2. Improper posture
3. Carrying heavy bags
4. Sitting on an uncomfortable seat
The use of gadgets for long hours is what contributes to each of these issues, leading to more pain. “The maximum share of causing this problem lies with the continuous usage of gadgets. Poor position while sitting or sleeping, or studying or while using the computer, smartphone, or television for long hours without altering their position and sitting inappropriately leads to neck and back pain from a very young age. Cervical problems at such a tender age are very harmful as it tends to stay for a lifetime affecting the posture of the child life-long if not taken into account timely,” said Dr Kelkar.
Also Read: Kids are spending more ‘alone-together time’ with parents. What does that mean?
Smartphone addiction is making children spend hours hunched over the devices, damaging their necks and spines, leading to a rise in the cases of ‘text neck’ or ‘I-Posture’ or I-Slouch’.
“A human head weighs 10 pounds in a neutral position and when you hold it in this angle, it extensively strains your neck muscles. For every inch you tilt your head forward, the pressure on the spine doubles. Putting tremendous pressure on your spine, this can cause misalignment of the vertebrae and spinal discs. If not noted at a young age and continued like this, the figure itself turns hunched over a device even with the absence of the device. If left untreated, the condition can cause permanent damage, including flattening of the spinal curve, early onset of arthritis, spinal degenerations, loss of lung volume capacity and even gastrointestinal problems,” the doctor further warned.
How to relieve cervical pain
Here are some remedies for cervical pain:
1. A warm bath can help relax the tight muscles
2. Stretching exercises of neck and hand
3. Lie down on the back while using a cellphone
4. Keep the phone at eye level when sitting or standing
5. Keep the back straight as much as possible
6. Take regular screen breaks
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