Cellphones are ubiquitous. Look around you, and you will see how indispensable our cellphones have become. Especially since you can do everything on a cellphone, from reading and watching movies to communicating with friends and family. While cellphones have made our lives more convenient, there is a downside. It’s easy to go overboard with cellphone use. And with that, comes health problems. Let’s look at some cellphone-related health conditions that you may be at risk of developing.
Text neck, or cervical spondylosis, is a term used to describe neck pain that develops because of looking down at your electronic device for long periods of time. Like a repetitive strain injury, it develops due to the repeated bowing of your head to look at your phone, tablet, or other electronic device. The unnatural position can strain and even damage your muscles and tendons, causing inflammation. Your neck is designed to take on the weight of your head in an upright position. Once you bend your head down, your head puts more pressure on the neck than it does when it is in the upright position. When this pressure is put on repeatedly for extended periods of time, the neck suffers.
More patients see doctors for neck pain caused by texting now than ever before – and for good reason. Not only is text neck painful, it can also lead to long-term problems. Chronic inflammation in the neck can turn into arthritis. Moreover, you can also permanently damage your spine.
Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to avoid developing text neck, including:
- Holding your phone or electronic device at eye level.
- Taking frequent breaks from use.
- Being conscious of the time you take to look down at a device. Aim to lift your phone instead so your head is in an upright position.
- Using a voice-to-text program. This will limit the time you look down to type out long text messages and emails.
Another modern cellphone condition is called text claw. It develops when your fingers and hands assume an unnatural position for extended periods of time due to texting and balancing the weight of the cellphone.
Patients with text claw experience pain, numbness, stiffness, and tingling in their hands, particularly the thumb, ring, and pinky fingers. If you are experiencing cramping and aching in your hands, it may be a sign to put down the cellphone.
Your cellphone usage not only affect your hands and fingers but also your elbows. Also called cubital tunnel syndrome, this condition is caused by holding your elbow in a flexed angle (such as when speaking on a cellphone) for extended periods of time. This position compresses the ulnar nerve that traverses the posterior elbow.
Fortunately, there is an easy for this. If you routinely take part in long phone conversations, opt for a headset or Bluetooth.
Cellphone-Related Health Conditions Treatment in Central Maryland
The doctors and specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland (OACM) specialize in the treatment of modern cellphone conditions that affect the back and neck and hand and wrist. Our compassionate team delivers comprehensive care with our signature gentle and caring manner.
We welcome you to our clinics in Columbia, Catonsville, and Eldersburg. For your convenience, we have extended our urgent care clinic hours. To schedule an appointment, please call (410) 644-1880 or request an appointment now.