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October 21, 1974

Cervical Radiculitis

Author Affiliations

Springfield, Mass

JAMA. 1974;230(3):374. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240030016011

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To the Editor.—  Neck pain is directly related to television. When first questioned about the time they spend watching television, patients usually belittle the insinuation that they might be spending leisure time foolishly. "Idiot box," "boob tube," and "stupid screen" are responsible for this allegation.After a terribly fatiguing day at work, one must relax. Some will lie on the couch, head resting on arm, and neck laterally flexed. Others will sit in reclining chairs, with the neck forcibly flexed, to focus on a screen a few inches above the floor. Some watch television lying in bed, night after night, the neck sharply flexed, propped by pillows or tilted against the headboard.

Symptoms.—  Origin of symptoms is insidious. Some relate to hindsight of minor trauma. Or, original trauma persists because of repetitive strain associated with improper viewing.

Physical Findings.—  Objective abnormalities are sparse, such as slight spasm of paravertebral musculature.