Tag Archives: texting injuries

IS MODERN TECHNOLGY CREATING NEW PHYSICAL AILMENTS?

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We are often warned about the dangers of driving and walking while texting. A while ago, we blogged about “Candy Crush Thumb”. These common activities have sent far too many people to their physicians and worse, emergency rooms. What’s next?

The newest ailments are plentiful: Selfie Hand, Text Claw, Selfie Elbow, and Text Thumb. Say what?

It is estimated that over the course of their lifetime, Millennials will have taken a staggering amount of over 25,000 selfies. Yes, you read that correctly … 25,000 per Millennial. That repetitive action develops physical challenges in the hand and wrist and it’s not from what you would think. The weight of the phone is not the issue; it’s the position of the hand, wrist, fingers, and even the elbow that compromise muscles, tendons, and ligaments. More commonly, this is referred to as “repetitive strain”.

Some may say that using a selfie stick avoids inflammation of the hand and wrist, however, this may cause other complications in the elbow, wrist, arm, shoulders, and neck from extending the arm frequently.

selfie-athlete

Most of us cannot imagine limiting our smart phone time or disconnecting so what’s the answer to avoiding a generation of these future ailments? Here are some suggestions however, as with any new activity, check first with your physician:

  • Use voice dictation when sending a text or email from your phone.
  • Do a “prayer stretch” by placing palms together under the chin and pulling hands down toward the waist keeping them close to the chest.
  • Push palms up above the chest and down toward your shoulders several times; using an 8 ounce water bottle or soup can may help strengthen muscles.
  • Icing the inflamed area may relieve discomfort.
  • Shoulder and wrist rolls may help your muscles from fatiguing.

If you do suffer from chronic pain in your hands, wrist, elbow, shoulder, or neck it may be time to see a physician who specializes in hand and wrist ailments. At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we have highly skilled upper extremity and hand/wrist Orthopedic Physicians, as well as experienced Occupational Therapists and Certified Hand Therapists, to help you alleviate your discomfort. Check out our website at www.SOA.md where you can make an appointment at any of our four locations directly via the home page, or give us a call at 941-951-2663. We offer same day appointments when necessary.

Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life!

TEXT NECK … Is that really a “thing”?

texting adults

Indeed it is. Think about it. We spend much of our day with our heads lowered to read our smartphones. It’s not unusual to see people “text-walking” or worse, driving while texting. With all the advantages of having a world of information at our fingertips, there is also an associated health risk.

There are over 4 billion mobile devices in the world and the average American usage is 2.7 hours per day communicating on these devices. It’s no wonder we have sore necks and shoulders. In fact, it’s becoming an epidemic affecting millions and it’s growing.

Constant lowering of the neck to look downward puts the spine in an unnatural curve that can cause reduction in the cervical spine, thus creating a “pain in the neck”. Worse, that pain can radiate through the shoulders, creating tension, and even debilitating headaches. As the situation intensifies, the arms may become weak, numb, or tingle. Over time, this pattern can become lingering and as a result, a challenge to treat.

The average head weighs about 10 pounds. When tilted downward 15 degrees, the force of your head on your cervical spine increases to about 25 pounds. The more tilt, the more weight; that can be up to as much as 60 pounds of force on your neck. Prolonged tilting downward creates excessive strain causing stress injury. Over a long period of time it may even lead to spinal misalignment, early onset of arthritis, disc compression, or nerve damage.

text neck

So how do we combat this growing concern? Resistance and strengthening are keys to reinforce the neck and shoulder muscles and offset damage. Taking frequent breaks, maintaining good posture, and doing neck stretches help circumvent damage. Most important, when using a mobile device, place it at eye level to avoid tilting of the neck. Remember … Hold Your Head Up!

If you believe you have “text neck” or any form of musculoskeletal pain, Sarasota Orthopedic Associates has four convenient locations to help you alleviate your discomfort. We offer same day appointments when needed. Give us a call at 941-951-2663 (BONE) or check our website here for more information.

 

Sources:   WFLA; LA Times; Today Health & Wellness

DISTRACTED WALKING?

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“Dude. Engage!”

Distracted driving can cause crashes, injuries, and even death; it’s a prevalent public issue that the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) continues to champion. But what about distracted walking? What are the consequences of pedestrians talking on the phone, texting, listening to music, or engaging deeply in conversation with the person next to them?

“Today, more and more people are falling down stairs, tripping over curbs and other streetscapes and, in many instances, stepping into traffic, causing cuts, bruises, sprains, and fractures,” said Alan Hilibrand, MD, chair of the AAOS Communications Cabinet. “In fact, the number of injuries to pedestrians using their phones has more than doubled since 2004, and surveys have shown that 60% of pedestrians are distracted by other activities while walking.”

Recently, AAOS expanded its injury-prevention efforts to include distracted walking. The “Digital Deadwalkers” radio and television public service announcements (PSAs) distributed in 2015 and 2016 humorously, but effectively, highlight what can happen when pedestrians focus on anything or anyone other than the task of safely getting where they need to go.

First, while 78% of U.S. adults believe that distracted walking is a “serious” issue; three-quarters of Americans say it’s “other people” who walk distracted. Only 29% of respondents admit that they, personally, have an issue. And the sense of “it’s not me, it’s you” cuts across a range of distracted walking behaviors:

  • Ninety percent say they see walkers talking on the phone (and 37% admit doing so themselves)
  • Eighty-eight percent engaging in conversation (vs. 75% themselves)
  • Eighty-eight percent listening to music (vs. 34% themselves)
  • Eighty-five percent using a smartphone (vs. 28% themselves)
  • Sixty-four percent generally “zoning out” (vs. 38% themselves)

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Despite the obvious risks associated with distracted walking, as many respondents believe it is “embarrassing (in a silly way)” as feel it is “dangerous” (46%). Furthermore, 31% say distracted walking is “something I’m likely to do” and 22% think distracted walking is “funny,” according to the study.

And distracted walking is resulting in injuries. Nearly 4 out of 10 Americans say they have personally witnessed a distracted walking incident, and just over a quarter (26%) say they have been in an incident themselves.

Information contained here is reprinted from AAOS (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons).

To read the rest of the story go to:  http://www.orthoinfo.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00748 or if you’ve injured yourself in a “distracted” incident, go to our web site to learn more about Sarasota Orthopedic Associates and how we can help you.

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