As the COVID-19 pandemic forces people inside their homes, and as many professionals and students continue to work/study from home, there is a noticeable surge in the number of patients seeking treatment for conditions linked to increased screen time, say experts at the Thumbay Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Hospital at Thumbay Medicity, Ajman. One of the most common conditions among these disorders is the ‘text-neck’.
Back pain and neck pain are some of the common health issues reported by working professionals and students as they continue to depend on gadgets like smartphones and laptops for their daily activities. Experts say this is caused by incorrect sitting postures caused by the absence of ergonomic office/classroom spaces. “In most of the cases, what starts as a mild uneasiness at the start of the stay-at-home period eventually turns into severe pain and extreme discomfort, requiring medical attention. Most of these injuries are the result of prolonged periods of sitting in slouched and bent positions,” said Dr. Mujeeb Mahammad Shaikh, Consultant – Orthopedic Surgery at Thumbay University Hospital Complex, which includes three academic hospitals; the 350-bed Thumbay University Hospital, Thumbay Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Hospital and Thumbay Dental Hospital
Text-neck is caused by repeated stress injury and pain in the neck due to excessive watching or texting on handheld devices for prolonged periods. The condition is aggravated as a result of people moving much less nowadays compared to their earlier routine when they would commute to the office/school daily and move around at the workplace/school.
“While working/learning at home, people should ensure that they have a comfortable desk and chair, and sit upright with their feet flat on the floor. The computer/phone monitor must always be set at the eye level. The key is to avoid straining the body. Using handheld devices for prolonged periods must be avoided as much as possible, and users must take regular breaks to move around for a few minutes. Regular stretching exercises and mental leisure activities are also important to keep the mind and body stress-free and healthy,” explained Dr. Mujeeb Mahammad Shaikh. He added that it is important to seek early medical advice, in case students/professionals experience the first signs of text-neck. “Many people may benefit from a course of physiotherapy to orient them with good postures and to learn stretching exercises,” he said.
About Thumbay Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Hospital
One of the most advanced physical therapy and rehabilitation facilities in the region, Thumbay Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Hospital (TPTRH) boasts state-of-the-art technology, futuristic facilities, cutting-edge research and advanced learning. Innovation is one of the key features of the hospital. State-of-the-art rehabilitation treatment is delivered through advanced technology like virtual reality. The hospital is attached to the 350-bed Thumbay University Hospital at Thumbay Medicity, with a 100-bed Long Term Care and Rehabilitation Unit, as well as a Therapeutic Garden for faster and holistic recovery. The hospital has a stroke unit with uniquely developed protocols guiding the treatment modalities and cutting-edge stroke rehabilitation technology such as the robotic exoskeleton.