How Electronic Devices are Ruining Your Joints

August 9, 2018

Incorrect posture and repetitive movements, both inevitably come knocking at your door with each new technological invention that you decide to try. From backaches to joint pains, using tech-equipment for extended periods can give birth to many such problems. This fact is relevant mainly for products like smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Finding your place amongst the youth today by acing the art of internet browsing, snap-chatting, messaging, and emailing can be exhilarating. However, with your new-found empowerment in the digital world, you may have also invited a host of health problems into your life. Many back, neck, hand, and joint related aches and pains find their origins in a lifestyle that is heavily dependent, almost to the point of addiction, to devices like laptops and smartphones. Unfortunately, the era of quick availability of information, enhanced connectivity, and ease of work has also ushered in the age of orthopaedic maladies. A few of these are:

  1. Stiff Neck and Back – You may have often spotted people who are unable to move their head from one side to another because of a stiff neck. Similarly, quite a few people also suffer from a crick in the back regularly these days. These issues arise when you spend too much time peering down a laptop or a smartphone screen.

  2. Headaches – Looking down at a smartphone or a laptop screen for long durations can pressurize the occipital nerve that lies at the connecting point of the spine and the base of the skull. This pressure leads to recurrent headaches.

  3. Pain in the Hand – Texting in specific can worsen the symptoms of many existing conditions like osteoarthritis. The repetitive movement associated with texting and typing hastens the cartilage breakdown in the joints. Your thumbs and fingers may also feel stiffer and inflamed if you are always texting or typing.

  4. Numbness and Tingling in the Hand – People who are already prone to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may experience a heightened intensity of symptoms like tingling, numbness, and discomfort in the thumb and index finger if they are extreme users of devices like smartphones and tablets.

If you have been experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, then you should start taking a few steps to mitigate the problem before it blows out of proportion. Some suggestions are:

  1. If you have noticed that texting with your thumb is agonizing, try switching to a phone with a stylus instead.

  2. Smartphones that operate on voice commands are also a better option to avoid pain in the hands.

  3. Use wrist supports and other ergonomically designed accessories at your workstation to ensure that your hands are parallel to the ground.

  4. Adjusting the height of your workstation so that your gaze towards the laptop screen is parallel to the ground instead of slanting downwards will help prevent backaches and stiff necks.

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