Wednesday, Aug 22nd

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Tackling Tech Injuries

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Technological advancement has brought about plenty of timesavers for an easier life. The list is long. It can start with cars, washing machines, airplanes and several instant communication gadgets. All these gadgets have also brought a possibility of injuries.

You may have heard of repetitive strain injury which is caused by an action that is done repeatedly over long periods of time. This condition was common in factory workers earlier at places like assembly lines. It was prevalent also with typists.

Today, not only factory workers but even your children may suffer with these conditions. Sitting hunched over a laptop without regular breaks can cause them neck, back and shoulder pains. The biggest joke is that we use all these technological gadgets, knowing very well that we are not actually comfortable over a long period of time and still groan about stiff necks.

The cubital tunnel syndrome or the mobile phone elbow is a recent phenomenon. Holding a phone to your ear for long periods will cause pain in the elbow and tingling in the fingers because this kind of action stretches your ulnar nerve that extends from under the elbow and controls the ring and little fingers.

Blood supply is restricted to this area causing the tingling feeling. The more the arm bends, the more the nerve stretches restricting the blood supply further.

There is also texter’s thumb which applies to excessive SMS senders and games console users. Just about everyone from age ten or above is obsessed with sending text messages nowadays and using their thumbs. You will know if your fingers are stiff in the morning and if you feel a sensation of pins and needles.

Is there pain and pressure in your wrists? Better question is what can we do about it?

  • Give your thumbs a rest and use alternate fingers.
  • Reduce the length and number of messages to be sent.
  • Don’t text for more than twenty minutes at a time without taking a break.
  • Stretch out and massage the arms and rotate the wrists.
  • Do shoulder shrugs. Blood will flow back to the arm.
  • Hold your arm at right angles from the elbow. Make a fist and tense it.
  • Stretch the wrist backward and forward.
  • Try and support your head and shoulders when texting.
  • Stretch the muscles at the base of the neck by making a double chin.
  • Take a walk and do something else.