Here’s how smart gadgets are getting the better of people. The current obsession with smartphones, tablets and other gadgets is leading to what is now being called “iPosture” and increasing complaints of back pain .
Take software professional, Rajeev (name changed), 26, who had intermittent neck pain over six months and later, shooting pain down his left arm along with a tingling sensation in his left thumb. He had a work schedule that involved using his desktop monitor, his personal android phone or tablet by turns. “His sedentary lifestyle and his work routine took a toll on his spine,” says Dr Mahesh Sambasivan, consultant neurosurgeon, Columbia Asia Hospital, Whitefield who treated him.
Luckily for Rajiv he received the advice he needed and was told to reduce his time spent on gadgets, do routine physical exercise and make some postural adjustments to manage his problem. But his case is not a one-off as Dr Mahesh says he sees nearly 70 such cases every day.
“iPosture is a disorder that is caused due to hunching over tech devices. Over time this takes a toll on the spine, axial skeleton and its support systems(such as muscles, ligaments and cartilages). It can cause deformity, and serious degenerative changes in the spine,” warns the doctor.
Dr Ajith Benedict Rayan, Vice President, HOSMAT too says that the complaint is quite common today. “We have nearly 30 people coming to us every day with serious back and neck pain as a result of being seated in the wrong position for long hours while using smartphones and other gadgets. This can lead to neck and elbow pain and also problems in the thumb,” he adds.
“The patients come from all walks of life and not just the IT sector, which is why it is more distressing,” says Dr Mahesh, stressing that maintaining an erect posture is important. “Gadgets and phones are smart but we as responsible persons need to be smarter and take precautions to prevent spinal disorders,” he advises, warning that neglect can lead to lead to spinal deformity, sprains and illogical neurological defects.