Heck and Feck! She's got "Tech Neck
It's a new year and therefore time for another scare story about the dangers inherent in the use of mobile telephony. This time it's "Tech Neck" a newly-discovered and terrible technological affliction that, seemingly, only affects females who overuse mobile devices.
Ever since the advent of mobile telephony, insufficiently shielded RF radiation from handsets has often been cited as a possible/probable cause of brain cancers. There have been many studies seeking to determine whether or not mobile phones can and do cause brain tumours and, to date, research has failed to show a consistent link between the use of mobile devices and and cancers of the brain, nerves, or other tissues of the head or neck.
That said mobile technology, cellphone design and the ways in which individuals, male and female alike, use mobile devices have all changed markedly since the technology was introduced making it difficult for scientists to use common bases and apply agreed standard methodologies to their researches.
Today the received wisdom is that 'ordinary' or 'normal' mobile phone usage (whatever that may be given that there is no agreed definition as yet )does not directly cause brain cancer. However, a common caveat here is that mobile technology and handset design are relatively new phenomena and it may take a couple of generations before it can be stated with absolute certainty that making cellphone calls does not in any way contribute to the possibility of an individual user becoming ill as a result.
The amount of radio frequency energy to which a mobile phone user is exposed depends on the technology of the phone, the distance between the handset's antenna and the user, the extent and type of use, and the user’s distance from mobile phone towers. The extensive research on those variables is out there for all to access and after a trawl across the Web, people can and do make up their own minds about the perceived dangers and take action accordingly.
But, of course, there's money to be made from coming up with remedies to cure or ease the symptoms of mobile technology-originated diseases and syndromes. In the past these have ranged from lead-lined handsets through to tinfoil hats that, it is claimed, provide protection from radio waves that if allowed to travel freely from a handset through the human brain can cause all sorts of mischief.
And there is no doubt that poor posture resulting from sitting slumped for hours on end in from of a computer or habitually tucking a mobile handset between the shoulder and the neck can cause real and painful physical problems.
Kenneth K. Hansraj, MD, the Head of Spinal Surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitative Medicine says “We have done a study on this and how poor posture affects you, especially when you’re on a cell phone or smart device. It’s a lot of load, an amazing amount of weight to be carrying around your neck.”
He adds, “When your spine is in neutral position, the head weighs about 10-12 pounds. At 15 degrees forward, the neck experiences 27 pounds. At 45 degrees, it experiences 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it's 60 pounds. That’s 60 pounds of weight stress on muscles and nerves that are meant to handle 10-12 pounds of stress, and that much load can do a lot of damage over time."
Aletha Chappelear, an Atlanta-based chiropractor supports Dr. Hansraj views and contentions and says she often sees patients with syndromes and pains that are related to their use (or misuse) of comms technology. “We’re seeing it a lot", she says, "especially in teenagers and older adolescents. We’re so into our electronic devices, and what we’re doing is holding the device at chest- or waist-level, and looking down at the device. It’s causing neck muscles to be shortened and tightened, and shoulders to be rounded forward.”
So, the above examples make sense and seem eminently reasonable, but then we come to the dreaded "Tech Neck"- the new scourge of women everywhere.
It is alleged that smartphones and tablets are the direct cause this skin-wrinkling condition, which, allegedly, is most prevalent in females aged between 18 and 39 "who have an average of three digital devices and peer at their screens up to 150 times a day."
Dr Christopher Rowland Payne, Consultant Dermatologist at The London Clinic, says: “The problem of wrinkles and sagging of the jowls and neck used to begin in late middle age but, in the last 10 years, because of 'tech-neck', it has become a problem for a generation of younger women.”
The theory seems to be that constantly bending the neck to look down to read text messages or use mobile applications increases the effects of gravity and reduces the elasticity of the dermis resulting in sagging skin, drooping dewlaps and of a "distinct" (and if 'untreated') permanent "crease above the clavicle". Further, it seems "a constant downward gaze also contributes to further lines and creases around the chin and neck area."
But wait and worry ye not. Those brilliant research scientists working for the sainted Yves Laurant have synthesised the first remedy to defeat and banish the scourge of Tech Neck. Yup, it's the "Forever Youth Liberator Y. Shape Concentrate" a serum (no less) containing a new molecule to boost skin elasticity.
Dr Thierry Michaud, a dermatologist and member of the YSL Skin Science team, says : “Many women I treat accept their wrinkles and fine lines but what they cannot accept is their new facial expressions. Inappropriate expressions are due to a loss of facial volumes: sagging skin, less defined contours and creased neck. Restoring the facial dynamic is respecting and correcting the emotional language for open features and a fresher look.”
And it's an absolute snip at just £75 for 30ml.
I'm sorry, I'll have to stop now. I am experiencing an inappropriate facial expression cause by a sudden pain in the crease of my backside. "Nurse! Quickly, the screens and the lard! Make sure you warm it first!"