Although technology has certainly helped to improve our lives in many areas, it can also hurt us -- literally. The amount of time that people spend hunched over their screens, whether it's their computers, their smartphones or their portable video game systems, can increase the risk of injury as a result of having poor posture or maintaining unnatural positions for extended periods of time.
Common Technology-Related Injuries
The following are some of the common injuries that people experience because of repetitive actions and poor posture caused by extended technology use:
- Neck pain - If your computer is situated too low or you're constantly looking down at your phone for prolonged periods of time, it can cause excessive cervical flexion, thereby resulting in neck pain.
- Headaches - Poor posture can cause irritation in your neck muscles, which can, in turn, cause headaches.
- Elbow pain - Believe it or not, but taking excessive selfies requires the repetition of an outstretched position that can cause irritation to your forearms tendons and muscles. This kind of elbow pain is similar to that of tennis elbow.
- Joint and ligament irritation - Using your thumbs repetitively to text, type or play video games can cause joint and ligament irritation in your fingers.
- Lower back pain - Sitting for long periods of time while maintaining poor posture (such as at a desk in front of a computer), can cause irritation to your back's nerves, muscles, and discs.
Preventing Technology-Related Injuries
The following are a few tips to help prevent technology-related injuries:
- Make sure screens are at eye level - Either raise your desk or your computer so that you're not lowering your neck to look down.
- Take breaks - If you work at a desk, get up every hour or two to stretch or walk around.
- Exercise regularly - Exercising can help improve flexibility and strength, thereby reducing the risk of injury.
How Physical Therapy Can Help
Physical therapy can not only help reduce pain, speed up the recovery process and improve range of motion following technology-related injuries, it can help prevent such injuries from occurring in the first place. Physical therapists will use manual techniques, including massage therapy, along with exercise to help improve flexibility, mobility, and strength, making it easier to maintain good posture and helping reduce the risk of injury.
To schedule physical therapy in Vero Beach or Port St. Lucie, be sure to contact us at Advanced Motion Therapeutic today.