“Technology makes it possible for people to gain control over everything, except over technology.” – John Tudor
We love our tech.
It’s estimated that, on average, video gamers spend six hours and twenty minutes each week playing games. And according to one article, 23 hours per week are spent texting by an average adult on texting, and 96 percent of smartphone users still text.
Our other mobile and not-so-mobile devices take up quite a bit of our time, too.
The Physical Cost of Tech Usage
The downside of all this tech use is the impact it has on various parts of our bodies. Technology is not all passive nor is it benign. Severe pain and even injury issues can arise from using devices repeatedly or for extended periods of time.
For example, one of the most common – and often ignored – symptoms are neck pain. The problem is that, by the time you feel pain, you could already be suffering from degenerating discs between the vertebrae of the cervical spine. This could then lead to the early onset of arthritis of the spine or the occurrence of other disc problems throughout the back.
In addition to neck pain, there are many other issues that can result from tech overuse, such as:
- Upper back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Arm and hand pain
Of course, there are also related issues that arise from overuse of other tech devices such as video game controllers and similar equipment.
As an article in Healthline notes, the American Optometric Association (AOA) has found that prolonged use of electronic devices with screens can lead to digital eye strain.
Symptoms of digital eye strain may include:
- blurred vision
- dry eyes
- neck and shoulder pain
Factors that contribute to these issues are screen glare, bad lighting, and improper viewing distance. Overuse of technology can also lead to repetitive strain injuries of the fingers, thumbs, and wrists.
According to Harvard Health, repetitive motions of texting and keyboarding can lead to general hand pain from underlying osteoarthritis, which is a wearing away of cartilage in the joints. Using devices does not cause osteoarthritis but can increase symptoms for those prone to it.
Too much thumb use for texting can cause strain or overuse injuries of the tendons that run from the wrist to the thumb, a condition known as De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Symptoms include pain over the thumb side of the wrist, which can appear gradually or suddenly and move up the forearm.
Another ailment that stems from tech use is pushing buttons too hard with your fingers. This can lead to inflammation around the tendons and pulleys that enable the fingers to bend, increasing the risk for trigger finger or stenosing tenosynovitis. Among the symptoms are pain, popping, and a feeling that the digit is locking when you bend or straighten it.
Mitigating and Relieving Pain from Tech Use
The most obvious counteraction to technology overuse is to minimize and limit your use of tech devices. Keep in mind that even “passive” use such as sitting at a PC console or watching a video on a tablet can induce pain and dysfunction from poor posture and adverse ergonomics.
When using technology is a requirement of a job or school, develop habits of standing when possible, taking frequent breaks from screens and keyboards, and ensuring that your workstation is ergonomically fitted to you.
If you are already in pain, especially chronic pain, that you think may be a result of muscle or tendon overuse related to using tech devices, pain medications or surgery should not be your first option.
At Pain and Performance Solutions, we specialize in identifying the source of pain, providing accurate diagnoses, and bringing relief from chronic pain.
One tool we use is known as Proprioceptive Deep Tendon Reflex® or P-DTR®.
The P-DTR® evaluation and treatment process is fast, non-invasive, and permanent. Using a comprehensive system of muscle testing and neural challenges, dysfunctional sensory receptors can be located and corrected, quickly restoring normal function and eliminating pain. The overall goal of using Proprioceptive – Deep Tendon Reflex® therapy is to help injuries recover at a pace specific to the individual’s needs.
Becoming and Remaining Pain-Free with Pain and Performance Solutions
Overuse of technology can lead to injury and pain. And the first step in recovering from that pain and becoming pain-free is letting us get to know you and your pain issues.
Once you make your first appointment, we’ll want to learn about your present discomfort as well as any history of pain.
After providing you with a full examination, we can determine which form of treatment is needed to help you on your road to recovery.
Often, when pain occurs, our bodies will try to compensate for the pain in order to allow us to get through the day with less pain. However, because our bodies have shifted that pain around to compensate for our discomfort, this often leads to other areas of pain.
Getting chronic pain relief with therapies such as Proprioceptive – Deep Tendon Reflex (P-DTR®) and Active Release Technique® (ART®)can only begin when we can understand where your pain started. That could mean it started previously with another injury you might have sustained.
Your trust in us and your transparency is key. Getting your body to work properly and healthy is the only way to achieve total recovery. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any, and all questions that you may have.