Use of social media across the globe has grown by leaps and bounds in preceding years. Almost a quarter of the world's population is now on Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and Twitter.
There is a newly coined term called 'Whatsappitis', which has recently become popular, meaning that an incessant use of the thumb to text and operate cellular phones can damage your thumb muscle, causing tenosynovitis.
One of the other problems that can stem from incessant use of smartphones to check social media is carpal tunnel syndrome, where one can face problems with hands or wrists due to typing too much. Typing can also cause strain in your finger tendons.
"Excessive addiction to social media and the use of smartphones along with it can be bad for bones and joints. Tilting the head forward for prolonged times forces the neck muscles, ligaments and tendons to strain. This distinct posture has been labelled as 'text neck'. Orthopaedicians are noticing signs of premature degeneration of the spine in people, who are very young, because of this," said Dr Aashish Chaudhry, Managing Director and Orthopaedic Surgeon, Aakash Healthcare Super Speciality Hospital.
Prolonged use of smartphones can increase neck and upper back pain as well. Text neck, which was not heard of a decade ago, is a strain injury that is the result of hunching over smartphones while texting.
Text neck has become quite common among people, especially with the rise of the use of smartphones. Even in adolescents and teens suffer from problems related to muscle pain in the shoulders and neck, sometimes in the lower back as well.
"Prolonged use of gadgets for social media platforms can cause an ill effect on bones and joints. It can lead to weakness in hand muscles, multiple tendon inflammation (tenosynovitis) nerve compression (carpal tunnel syndrome & cubital tunnel syndrome) and chronic neck pain (Cervical spondylitis)," said Dr Ishwar Bohra, Sr. Consultant, Orthopaedics, Joint Reconstruction & Spine Surgery, BLK Super Speciality Hospital.