Poor posture, screen addiction can trigger ‘Text-Neck Syndrome’: Experts

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The health experts have warned that the long hours exposure to screens, coupled with poor posture and inadequate ergonomics in the workplace is causing, especially young adults, to be susceptible to spine-related conditions like ‘text-neck syndrome’ where the neck muscles become strained and stiff, causing long-term spinal complexities.

Dr. Tarun Suri, Head of Spine Surgery at Amrita Hospital Faridabad, said, “Poor posture has become the most common cause of back and neck pain among our OPD patients. Remarkably, nearly 70% of our OPD patients fall into this category. Poor screen etiquette is also a leading contributor to such pain. People often use their gadgets with their neck bent for prolonged periods, leading to a condition called “text-neck syndrome”. 

Aa the World Spine Day will be observed on Monday, the studies show that poor posture is the primary cause of neck and back pain in young and mid-age individuals, leading to work loss, hospital visits, and treatment expenses. Dr Suri said that individuals between the ages of 25 and 45 are the most commonly affected by postural back pain. 

The leading factors behind bad posture are poor workplace ergonomics, which entail long hours of sitting without proper chair and desk height, putting significant stress on the lower back and neck. 

Dr. Satyakam Baruah, Senior Consultant, Neurosurgery, said, “Ignoring posture issues in young adulthood may seem harmless, but the long-term consequences can be severe. From disc degeneration and prolapse, which can potentially lead to nerve or spinal cord compression, to the risk of weakness, paralysis, or even spinal malalignment such as scoliosis and kyphosis, the impact is far-reaching. Prioritizing good posture is not just about appearance, it’s about safeguarding future health and mobility. 

Dr. Suri advised taking a 60-second break to stretch the back after sitting continuously for 20-30 minutes to release intradiscal pressures and improve circulation in spine tissues and muscles. Stretching exercises for the neck while working on a computer for extended periods, as well as morning exercises, including neck stretches, range of motion exercises, shoulder shrugging exercises, and lower back exercises like yoga, ‘surya-namaskars,’ and ‘bhujangasan,’ are also helpful in maintaining circulation, flexibility, and strength of spine muscles.