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Caleb Burruss1, Ashton Human1, Kaitlin Gallagher1 1University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Neck pain is the fourth highest disease and injury contributing to years lived with a disability. There is a relationship between time spent using a mobile device and neck pain reporting. Time spent in neck flexion has been linked to neck pain development. PURPOSE: Determine if neck posture and motion during 30-minutes of smart phone use influence neck and upper back pain development. METHODS: Forty-three participants (26 female) between the ages of 18-29 years were recruited for this study. After signing an informed consent form, motion capture markers were placed on the participant’s neck and trunk to track their neck flexion angle during the data collection. Participants then filled out a visual analog scale (VAS) for their current level of neck and upper back pain. While seated in a banquet style chair, participants completed30-minutes of standardized tasks on their own smartphone. VAS scores were filled out at 10, 20, and 30 minutes of smartphone usage. A participant was classified as a pain developer (PDs) if there was a change of 12 mm in their neck or upper back pain over the 30-minutes.The median (50thpercentile) and range (the difference between the 90thand 10thpercentile) of neck angle over 30 minutes were calculated using an amplitude probability distribution function. T-tests were used to analyze the differences between the median and range of neck angle for PDs and non-PDs. RESULTS: 56% of participants(n=24)developed neck or upper backpain during smartphone use. There was no difference in neck angle median (p=.33) and range (p=.34) between the pain groups. The median neck angle was 22.5o(±8.9o) and the range was 15.5o(±9.8o). CONCLUSION: While over half of our sample developed neck or upper back pain, their neck posture was not related to pain development. Future work will assess other variables such as muscle activity while in neck flexion.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This study was funded by the University of Arkansas Chancellor’s Innovation Grant and an Arkansas Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

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