According to a recent study by Pew Research Center, the average person spends over five hours a day on their mobile device. But for many of us, the amount of time spent responding to emails, posting tweets and crafting the perfect new meme can greatly surpass this figure. So, what’s the impact of all of this repetitive behavior? We sat down with our Chief Wellness Officer, Eric Stephenson to find out.
What happens to our fingers from texting and emailing on our phones?
Continuous stress on your digits can result in a new condition known as “text thumb.” These days, cell phones and other mobile devices have become such an extension of our bodies we barely notice how much muscle movement is actually taking place. But, when you really think about it, your fingers are using fine motor skills to repeatedly hit tiny little letters on your screen over and over again. As a result, this causes muscular contraction and repetitive strain degeneration which could have significant long-term side effects.
Does texting affect any other part of your body?
In addition to hand-related issues, mobile device usage can escalate into spinal alignment problems. Just think, what position is your head commonly in when you are hunched over your cell phone? You’re looking down, of course, which creates forward head posture for extended periods of time and is one of the leads to “text neck.”
According to Dr. I.A. Kapandji, M.D., “For every inch the head hangs forward, the amount of weight on the spine increases by 10 pounds!” Although posture is not always linked to increased pain or dysfunction, it may be a contributing factor.
So, what can we do to help mitigate against these painful conditions?
First, it starts with having a greater sense of self-awareness. For most of us, cell phones can become a black hole. We sit down on the couch and then remarkably, 45 minutes have passed without having moved an inch. To prevent this, take periodic 30-second breaks so you can move your body position and not become stagnant. Another tip is to use your non-dominant hand the next time you are scrolling Facebook. While it might seem awkward at first, this will balance out the usage of your musculoskeletal and nervous system, helping reduce the amount of stress being placed on one hand.
Can massage help?
Yes, it can. Your massage therapist can utilize therapeutic massage techniques to help provide relief. If you are experiencing muscle twitching in your hands and arms, numbness or tingling in your wrists or neck and shoulder pain, massage therapy can help.
Targeting the short, facilitated musculature as well as providing relief for the stretched, inhibited muscles will go a long way toward providing relief.
It’s doubtful anyone is going to ditch their cell phone anytime soon. The proliferation of technology is only going to increase, so taking a few simple preventative steps now will result in a healthier future! Visit https://elementsmassage.com/massage-places-near-me to schedule your massage today.