EFFECTIVENESS OF CONVENTIONAL EXERCISE PROGRAM AND OCULAR MUSCLE RETRAINING IN UG MEDICAL STUDENTS WITH TEXT NECK SYNDROME AND ASTHENOPIC SYMPTOMS DUE TO SMARTPHPONE ADVERSITY
Background: Text neck syndrome is emerging as a public health threat globally because of our adjustment to a NEW NORMAL life due to COVID-19 pandemic. Long-term mobile use can lead to various musculoskeletal problems, especially neck pain associated with eye discomfort and vision disturbances. This is referred to as “smartphone adversity”. Neck pain is frequently treated, but visual impairments are often overlooked. Aim: To study the effects of conventional exercise program and ocular muscle retraining in UG medical students presenting symptoms related to neck and eye strain due to smartphone adversity. Methodology: This study was a Pre-test Post-test experimental study which included UG medical students, both male and female, between age group 19-25 having neck pain and asthenopic symptoms (smartphone Adversity) since last 1 yr. The treatment protocol consisted of conventional treatment program and ocular muscle retraining for 4 weeks. Pre and post assessment was done using the outcome measure – Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), Numerical Pain Rating Scale (NPRS) and Neck Disability Index (NDI). Result: There was a significant difference in all the three outcome measures - pre and post intervention. The result was statistically significant with p<0.001 when Wilcoxon signed-rank test was applied. Conclusion: The study concluded that the conventional exercise program and ocular muscle retraining were effective in reducing neck pain, disability and asthenopic symptoms in UG medical students with text neck syndrome and asthenopic symptoms due to smartphone adversity. Hence, this structured exercise regimen can be helpful to combat the effects of smartphone adversity.