Bad Tech Habits Being a Pain? Here’s How You Get Rid Of Them
We Americans are said to be spending well over 5 hours of our day’s time hunched over, checking social media feeds, emailing people or sending texts, and man, is it a pain, literally. There is an actual condition to this kind of pain and it’s called ‘tech neck’. What’s more is that its highly probably that either you or someone in your family is already suffering from it. ImagineMD gathered some data on tech neck from Google, depending on how many times it was searched for on the Internet and they found that tech neck, texting thumb and cell phone elbow are the most searched tech-related conditions being searched.
Although it seems funny, but any pain, tech-related or not, needs immediate attention and can be serious. Here, we tell you about the top three tech conditions and how you can get rid of them
Texting thumb or gamer’s thumb.
This technology related injury has 100,000 monthly searches and is the most common issue. Swiping, gripping and tapping your smartphone screen or video game controller too much causes this repetitive stress injury. The thumb strain can be categories as thumb arthritis or ‘trigger thumb.’ Thumb arthritis happens when there is stress on the joint, which connects the wrist with the thumb, while trigger thumb is caused by constricted and overworked tendons, which control the movements of the thumb. Trigger thumb is only temporary and is less severe of the two conditions. Arthritis is a serious condition, which usually requires medication and surgery. But relax, thumb arthritis is not that common among techno freaks but cramping, discomfort and inflammation is.
Changing the manner in which you type or hold the phone or video game console can help, so remember to switch between the left and right hand regularly. An easy way to give ‘texter thumbs’ a break is holding the phone in one hand and typing with the other hand’s index finger. For alleviating the symptoms, use ice to dull the pain or even a cortisone shot in dire cases, which can loosen tense muscles. Should the pain get worse, even with all efforts made to lessen the stress on your thumbs, you should consult a doctor. For arthritis, there is no known cure, but your doctor could suggest a treatment for your symptoms.
Headaches, upper back, shoulder and neck pains, all because we tend to slouch in front of our computer screens. One quick way to check if you’re slouching often is, by observing your side profile in a mirror. If your shoulders are not aligned straight with your ears, then your posture is a problem. But how did the pain start? It’s quite simple. An average human head weighs around 10 pounds, and every time we tilt our heads, gravity puts strain on the neck. See how slouching can be bad? This will lead to excessive strain on the upper spine leading to pinched nerves, bone spurs, arthritis, headaches and nerve complications.
Fixing the issue starts with fixing your posture. Move the screen towards yourself and not the other way around, as this will prevent you from slouching and leaning in front to see what’s on the screen and increase the font size if needed. When looking at the mobile phone or tablet raise it to your eye level instead on bending your head forward to look at it. You must consciously remember to keep your face looking straight at the screen, and never down. To take a break from looking into the screen, you can download an app or set a reminder on your phone every 60 minutes that reminds you to do a set of stretches and movement exercises. It is important to stay physically fit all year around and never hesitate to visit a doctor if the pain intensifies.
Digital eye strain or email eye
Itchy eyes and a splitting headache for you worked up after a long day of staring at the screen? Your prolonged screen time may be giving rise to many chronic pains, not to mention seeing double and blurred vision! Even though we cannot imagine working without our screens, the simple fact is that eyes were just not made to look into screens all day long. It is reported that 60% and more Americans are experiencing digital eye strain, headaches, blurred vision and dry eyes, all because of that computer or smartphone screen.
Try following the “20-20-20” rule: 20 minutes of screen time, look away for 20 seconds at some object or person which is at least 20 feet away. This gives your eyes time to refresh and refocus itself before going back to working hard again. Other quick fixes, wear anti-glare glasses or put on an anti-glare screen cover on your computer screen, and avoid overhead lighting or light directly behind the computer screen. This should help majorly.
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