The Text Neck Epidemic: Unveiling the Hidden Burden of Neck Pain among Medical Students


  • Yasir Shahzad
  • Fraz Mehmood
  • Soban Sarwar
  • Kashif Ramooz
  • Nadeem Akhtar
  • Arslan Akram
  • Eesha Yaqoob
  • Saad Javed



Objective:  Text neck syndrome, caused by prolonged mobile device use, is increasingly common, especially among teenagers. Neck pain is a significant public health issue, affecting 40% of the population. Little research has focused on musculoskeletal pain in children and adolescents, including medical students. A cross-sectional study is needed to investigate text neck syndrome among medical students and provide effective prevention and treatment strategies.

Materials & Methods:  This cross-sectional study (n=508) utilized an online self-designed questionnaire incorporating the Neck Disability Index and the Nordic Musculoskeletal questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics, including chi-square tests and p-value calculations using SPSS version 25, were employed. The study aimed to examine neck pain prevalence and consequences to inform interventions for improved health outcomes.

Results:  Among the 508 participants, 69.4% reported past neck pain. Females, those with higher stress levels, individuals using laptops/tablets for four or more hours, and medical students studying for 4 to 6 hours daily had higher neck pain prevalence (52.0%, 88.2%, 61.9%, and 57.5% respectively). Prevalence remained consistent between pre-clinical and clinical-year medical students. Multivariate analysis revealed a significant association between neck pain and longer mobile phone use, extended study hours, and lack of exercise. Only 16% sought treatment from a chiropractor/physiotherapist for their neck pain.
Conclusion:  The study emphasizes the importance of better education on neck pain prevention and seeking professional help. Adding exercise to daily routines can also be extremely helpful in preventing neck pain. To fully understand the effect on medical students and develop effective interventions


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