Effect of prolonged smartphone use on cervical spine and hand grip strength in adolescence
Marina N Samaan, Emam H Elnegmy, Ahmed M Elnahhas, Amena S Hendawy
Background: smartphones have become a necessity for most children as they are used for communication and entertainment purposes. They spend most of their time in using smartphones. This could have side effects on their health.
Purpose: to assess the effect of prolonged smartphones use on cervical spine, hand grip strength, median and ulnar nerves conduction velocities of the forearm in adolescent children who use it more than four hours per day.
Methods: 60 normal subjects with ages ranging from 14 to 18 years were divided randomly into two groups of equal number (group A, group B): group A represent the control group who use smartphones less than four hours per day. Group B represent the study group who uses smartphone more than four hours per day. Electromyography machine was used to investigate nerve conduction velocity of ulnar and median nerves. Universal goniometer was used to measure forward head angle. Visual Analogue Scale was used to assess the neck pain. Hand dynamometer was used to measure hand grip strength for subjects of both groups. Results: showed significant differences in conduction velocity of ulnar nerve, forward head angle and visual analog scale for pain, indicating the effect on group B, while showed no significant difference in conduction velocity of median nerve and hand grip strength between the two groups.
Conclusion: Prolonged use of smartphones in adolescence decrease conduction velocity of ulnar nerve, leading to increased forward head position angle and neck pain, without effecting on handgrip strength and conduction velocity of median nerve.