OCTOBER 10, 2011 | Ann Radha
Are you addicted to communicating over cellphones?. And, never mind how you are doing it?. Then get ready for the worst. Text Neck. A new condition dubbed as text neck, that cause permanent arthritic damage if not treated, is on the rise in the Europe, with increased amount of time people spend hunched over their mobile devices. And, only Europe is not just the prey to this condition. Even in developing countries, hooking on to mobile phones and laptops has become a common practice. Especially young ones are the sufferers of this mobile mania.
The condition is caused by phone users flexing their necks for extended periods of time and can cause permanent arthritic damage if not treated. In some cases, patients can adapt to the flexed position and it becomes painful to straighten the neck out properly. If people continue to put their necks in these positions the body will gradually adapt to the stresses. Cases of the condition, and other types of repetitive strain injury, have been on the rise as the use of smart phones and tablet computers become more popular. In UK, thousands are turning up for treatment. In developing countries, this condition is not yet diagnosed as a medical problem.
Any tips for avoiding text next, other than reducing the mobile phone use?. Not many. But, try rotating the shoulders with your arms by your sides, taking regular screen breaks and sitting up straight while texting.
And, what more?. National Cancer Institute, US warns a cancer risk out of mobiles. Cell phones emit energy in radio frequency, a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, which could damage tissues closest to where the phone is held. The amount of exposure depends on the technology of the phone, the distance between the phone’s antenna and the user, the extent and type of use, and the user’s distance from cell phone towers. Studies so far have not shown a consistent link between cell use and cancers of the brain, nerves, or other tissues of the head or neck. More research is required because cell phone technology and the mode of use have been changing rapidly.
In theory, young ones are at greater risk than adults for developing brain cancer from cell phones. Their nervous systems are still developing and therefore more vulnerable to factors that may cause cancer. Their heads are smaller than those of adults and therefore have a greater proportional exposure to radiation. And they have the potential of accumulating more years of cell phone exposure than adults do. Most parents allow their kids to have the cell as a toy.
What US health authorities suggesting is that cell phone users can take steps to reduce their exposure. Reserve the use of cell phones for shorter conversations or limit to when a landline phone is not available. Use a hands-free device, which keep off the phone from the head. They reduce the amount of exposure to the head because the antenna, which is the source of energy, is not placed against the head.
World Health Organization recently announced that cell phones pose a significant risk of causing cancer. Cell phones are now labeled under “carcinogenic hazard,” just like lead and chloroform.
Since cell phones are a relatively new technology, it could take years before the long-term effects are truly known. So, please take care, now.
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