Kenya’s youth could be staring at a digital epidemic — literally! The looming outbreak of osteoarthritis ,a disease traditionally associated with the older generation — is suspected to be linked to their increasing addiction to smartphone use.
Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. It has traditionally been manifest from the middle age upwards. It causes joint pains and sometimes stiffness.
This can be associated with prolonged use of smartphones in an awkward position and is known as the text neck syndrome.
Patients suffer from sore difficult to move necks especially when turning the head to the side.
The term text neck syndrome (TNS) was coined by chiropractor Dean Fishman in Florida, US, where the condition is more widespread, and is affecting millions in all walks of life.
According to a post on Dr Fishman’s Text Neck Institute website, the syndrome defines repeated stress injury on the body caused by excessive texting and overuse of handheld electronic devices.
“The term, and the health condition, is derived from the onset of cervical spinal degeneration resulting from the repeated stress of frequent forward head flexion while looking down at the screens of mobile devices and ‘texting’ for long periods of time.
“While ‘text neck’ is certainly a new medical term, the condition is impacting millions and is a growing critical global concern,” the post says.