Going Mobile with Technology Can Cause Health Problems
The use and overuse of technology – especially mobile technology including cell phones and laptop computers -- has a growing list of health consequences. When working on the Internet, computers and cell phones, good ergonomics and/or good posture is almost impossible to maintain. An increasing number of health problems are associated with this rapidly expanding practice.
One study by Harris International looked at more than 2,000 Americans ages 18 and over. The study indicated that 60 percent of Americans experience some form of health problem due to the use of technology during the day:
> 36 percent had eye strain
> 30 percent had back pain
> 27 percent had neck pain
> 24 percent had headaches
> 21 percent had wrist pain
> 11 percent had carpal tunnel syndrome
> 9 percent had insomnia
Most of these conditions affect the musculoskeletal system, and patients are turning to chiropractors for treatment, to re-align and clear the stress along the spine. There is thumb and wrist pain treatment with Gilbert Chiropractic.
There are several problems associated with the poor ergonomics reflective of today's technology.
> "Texter's thumb" develops as a result of using the thumbs for sending text messages. It is a form of DeQuervain's tendinitis.
> "Texter's neck" is the term used to describe neck pain that results from prolonged poor posture (forward head carriage and holding cell phone against the ear) while using a smartphone.
> “Ear bud disease” is the result of ear infections due to the use of ear buds that are constantly placed in the ears when listening to music, watching video, etc., via mobile technology.
Repetitive stress and posture problems caused by laptop and cellphone design. The keyboards on laptops are flat and force the wrists into awkward and compromising positions, which almost begs for problems. The keyboards on tablet devices are built into the screen, and can cause wrist problems.
To help stave off the problems thumb and wrist pain associated with use of technology, follow these simple tips:
1) Take frequent breaks. Even small breaks of a few seconds may be long enough to reduce the muscle fatigue that comes from using electronic devices, particularly if use involves a less-than-optimal body position.
2) Build breaks into your routines. Don't take several phone calls back to back. Take a few minutes between calls to relax the muscles. Don't use laptop computers for long periods. Set an alarm clock for 15 minutes and get up and walk around.
3) Getting regular spinal check-ups and learning correct spinal hygine exercises and posture will help decrease the damaging effects of our current electronic lifestyle. Dr. Keith Lavender, a Board Certified Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic, provides precise, gentle care for all ages along with nutrition and exercise counseling.
Call 480-325-6977 for a free consultation or attend one of our Wellness Opportunity Workshops on Tuesday evenings at 6:15 p.m.
Thank you to Paul Hooper, DC, MPH, MS for research