The cost of long-term use of smart phones in the form of text neck syndrome; a systematic review
Keywords:Mobile, MSK disorders, Smartphone, Text neck
Introduction: Text neck syndrome or ‘Text neck’ refers to pain symptoms on the neck and neighboring regions during or after prolonged looking down posture that smartphone or tablet PC users typically make when they are text messaging. Because of the development of portable information and communication technology, people use phones not only to talk and text but also to play games, listen to music, watches videos, browse the web, send and receive emails and use social media. This review was carried out on the effects of long-term use of smart phones.
Material & Method: A literature search using PubMed, Medline and Google scholar was carried out to identify relevant literature. Additional searches were conducted by hand searching. The literature searches were performed in February-March 2017. The initial search terms “text neck” and “smart phone” were used to collect relevant research articles. Those studies were included in the review which were published about the text neck syndrome in young adults with age range of 19-30 years. Studies published from 2013-2016 were included. Studies in languages other than English were excluded.
Results: A total of 6 studies fulfilled eligibility criteria. Results showed that 30-degree head flexion angle was associated with lowest fatigue level while head flexion angle above 50 degree was associated with highest fatigue level. 33 degrees to 45 degrees is the average range to use a smartphone measured from vertical. Severe addiction of smartphone use leads to largest errors including impaired proprioception.
Conclusion: Chronic use of Smartphone leads to forward head posture, affecting upper cervical muscles and surrounding skeletal structures including ligaments which can lead to spinal deformities.