This is incredibly common … and it’s also a major source of back and neck pain. Among teens, even, frequent computer use increases the risk of neck, shoulder and low back pain.[i]
Just two to three hours of computer use a day was enough to increase neck and shoulder pain while five hours or more was linked to low back pain. If you have a desk job, chances are high that you easily surpass these numbers.
The problem isn’t the computer, of course, it’s your posture while you use it (and also the length of time — your body isn’t meant to stay in any one position for long periods). If you have back pain, neck pain or tense muscles, there’s a good chance your computer posture could be improved. If you’re wondering, what, exactly, constitutes poor computer posture, here are some of the most common examples:[ii]
- Hunchback: This is common when sitting hunched over a computer and leads to an excessively curved back. Eventually this posture will weaken your upper back muscles and lead to neck, shoulder and back pain.
- Rounded shoulders: This is also common while sitting and can cause your chest muscles to tighten and your upper back to weaken.
- Forward head: Your head should be in line with your shoulders and spine, but many people hold their head forward while driving, sitting and standing. This can cause tightness in your back and neck muscles, along with neck pain.
Beyond shoulder, neck and back pain, improper posture while using a computer can lead to pain in your wrists, forearms and jaw and also increase your risk of headaches. The problem is further compounded because computers are but one type of technology that may cause you pain.
Text Claw? Texting Thumb? Smartphones and Tablets Also Cause Chronic Pain
You’re probably all too familiar with computer-related pain … but texting- and tablet-related pain? This is a newer concern that’s quickly becoming commonplace.
A shocking 3.8 million people suffer from text-related injuries each, according to a survey conducted by Virgin Mobil.[iii] They found reports of sore wrists and thumbs rose by more than 38 percent in the last five years. Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are becoming all too common, causing swelling and pain in thumbs, wrists and hands. Texting thumb, also known as blackberry thumb, is the term now being used to describe thumb injuries related to texting.
Doctors are even adding “texting tendonitis” and “Blackberry thumb” to their list of diagnoses, right alongside the old standbys like tennis elbow and carpal tunnel … One study by Temple University researchers even revealed a link between texting and shoulder pain,[iv] while another term — ‘text claw’ — is a new buzzword to describe pain that occurs from in your hand from too much texting (kind of a modern-day ‘writer’s cramp’).
People who use tablets are also at high risk of developing neck pain, according to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health.[v] When you hold a tablet, most of the time you end up hunched over it with your head in the forward down-looking position, which forces your neck muscles to support the entire weight of your head.
As reported by Dr. Wayne Fichter at Coeur d’Alene Press:[vi]
“On average, the human head weighs about 12-15 pounds. When you have a forward head posture, you put a great strain on the muscles in the back of the neck. When you compound the forward head posture with rounded shoulders, you compress all the structures that run through the front of the shoulder, which places a great strain on the muscles of the upper back.
When we sit for long periods of time, lack of strength in the abdominals can cause the low back to round out, the chest to descend, and the weight of the upper trunk to shift forward.”
Even tapping on your tablet’s touch screen may be problematic, potentially causing repetitive stress injuries while encouraging awkward head, neck and hand positions that contribute to muscle fatigue and pain. Not to mention, the health effects of exposure to technology-related electromagnetic fields (EMFs) is still largely unknown.
5 Simple Tips for Avoiding Computer- and Texting-Related Pain
There are some simple remedies to technology-related pain, including:
- Using your tablet in the table-movie position (using a case to prop it up) is best for neck and shoulder health, especially if you’ll be using it for longer periods[vii]
- When using a laptop, tilting the monitor at a 130-degree angle leads to significantly less neck and shoulder discomfort than tilting it at 100- or 115-degree angles[viii]
- If your thumb feels stiff or sore at the end of the day, lay off of the texting, at least temporarily
- Use established ergonomically correct guidelines for setting up your computer workstation
- Avoid sitting for too long in any position (even if you’re using correct posture) — try the five-minute office stretch video below when you need a screen-time break
The Secret to Getting Rid of Technology-Related Pain for Good
If you spend a lot of time using a computer, smartphone or tablet, abnormal postural conditions like those described above are almost assuredly causing your muscles, joints and ligaments to function under increased stress and strain, eventually leading to failure (i.e. pain). You must address these issues to permanently relieve your pain and restore proper posture.
First identify and then correct your muscle imbalances!
With the Lose the Back Pain System, you’ll go through a series of self assessments designed to help you pinpoint which postural dysfunctions you have, then you’ll discover a customized series of corrective exercises, stretches, and self-treatments that are unique to your condition and specific muscle imbalances. If you have technology-related pain from frequent computer, smartphone or tablet use, then you almost assuredly have muscle imbalances, and probably related pain and tension, too.
Tens of thousands of people have already used this breakthrough system to eliminate back and neck pain, while improving posture, in less than 30 days, and you, too, can join them now …
Written By: Updated: April 1,2014