Is your smartphone trying to hurt you?

Repeating the same action at work endlessly can cause injury to the muscles and joints: This is known as RSI (repetitive stress injury). But what about while using your smartphone?

Sadly, incessant cell phone use has been linked to increased tension and numerous RSI, in up to 83% of users in some studies!

The first problem with smartphone use is “turtlenecking”- your head sags forward while looking at the small screen. This throws out the normal gentle forward curve of the neck, resulting in unnecessary pressure on the spine, pinching the nerves and squeezing the cushioning discs (“herniated disc”). It can lead to damaging the nearby spinal cord or large nerves. Result? Pain in your head, neck, shoulders and upper back. You may also feel nausea or dizziness.

“Texting thumb” comes from over-use of a smartphone’s tiny buttons. Your thumbs are simply not designed for rapid tapping motions. As the thumb tendons rub repeatedly against the sharp hard bone underneath, they start to swell and hurt.

“Text-claw” comes from clutching your smartphone for long hours. The small muscles in your hand tire quickly and go into spasm.

Since texting needs flexed wrists, they are under excessive constant tension and can swell up. These wrist tendons all pass through a tight hole under the wrist bones. Lacking space and under pressure, any swelling that occurs presses on the nearby nerves. The result? Pain, tingling and numbness in your fingers, carpal tunnel syndrome.

“Cell phone elbow” can come about holding the phone to your ear. The nerve under your funny bone is stretched too tight, too long.

And the iSlouch or the smartphone hunch? Caused by hours spent hunched over your smartphone, this posture affects more than your neck and shoulder muscles. Your chest cavity shrinks; you get up to 30% less oxygen. Your digestion slows as abdominal organs are crushed into less space. You even feel miserable! Your shoulder muscles become rigid, you hold your breath more, your heartbeat speeds up – unmistakable signs of a high tension state.

iGrinding is the teeth-grinding that is often seen when children get caught up in smartphone games.

If you have any of these symptoms, visit us at Back Pain and Posture Clinic. Our physiotherapists will check your pain thoroughly to identify its cause. We use various means to relieve knots of pain. We’ll help restore good posture, pain-free joint mobility and prevent further phone-induced damage by teaching you how to use your phone right.

Other tips?

  • Limit texting time or use a computer.
  • Use an external keyboard.
  • Keep your wrists straight while playing with your phone.
  • Instead of cradling a phone between shoulder and ear and pulling muscles and bones out of line, use earpieces or head-phones.
  • Alternate the phone between both hands and ears.
  • Stretch regularly.
  • Drink lots of water, to keep your discs more efficient and durable.

Learn how to deal with and avoid smartphone pain. Visit or call us on +(353)-87-295-9662.


Could you be overtraining?

Every dedicated athlete is at risk of overtraining. This happens when you’re not giving your body a chance to recover fully in between end-to-end tough training cycles. It usually results when you try to break personal best back-to-back, or to improve your performance all at once.

How do you know you’’re overtraining?

Researchers have detected five warning signs. The first is a rise in your resting heart rate. A trained athlete usually has a lower heart rate at rest.

The second sign is when you feel very thirsty, especially after working out. Sometimes you may notice you don’’t sweat as much either.

Thirdly, your sleep patterns may change. This seriously affects your body’s ability to repair and rest.

A fourth red light is when you feel moody and reluctant to continue training. If you’’re preparing for competition, you may feel unready and off-color instead of peaking. You find it hard to stick to your current regimen.

Another high alert sign is when a fully trained athlete starts losing weight at the current regimen. This is because your body is digging into its fat reserves, which are already low.

So watch out for these signs. Take a rest for a couple of days to weeks, and recharge your body!


Quick tip

If you decide to follow a new celebrity diet please do not expect the same results unless you have your own personal trainer and cook like they do.

Inspiration

So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.

~ A.J. Reb Materi

Funny thought of the day

A balloon is a celebratory sack of breath.