Smartphone injuries are more common than you might think. Smartphone use has taken over the world. Everywhere you look, someone is looking down at their smartphone, in fact you’re probably reading this email on your smart phone right now.
There’s a price we all pay using our phones incessantly and in this email, I’m going to quickly run through 4 common Smartphone injuries and don’t worry, I’ll give you some tips on how to correct them. I won’t leave you hanging.
Also known as medial epicondylitis, Golfer’s elbow is an inflammation or degeneration of the flexor tendons followed by a tightening of the associated muscles. And no, you don’t need to be a hanging around the 19th hole with Tiger to get Golfer’s elbow.
What causes it?
Typically, overuse causes Golfer’s elbow. Gripping your smartphone for long periods of time and using it as a stress ball could irritate the tendons and associated musculature, so get a bluetooth headset.
Also known as lateral epicondylitis, Tennis elbow is an inflammation or degeneration of the extensor tendons of the forearm followed by a tightening of the associated muscles.
What causes it?
Like Golfer’s elbow, Tennis Elbow is caused from overuse, so again, I must warn you to not grip your smartphone for long periods of time or you could end up with tight extensor muscles. And no, you don’t need to be a star athlete like Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic to get Tennis Elbow.
During any given day, a person will assume a forward head posture at least once. This could happen when you drive your car, sit at your desk, or use your smartphone.
You might have heard me say this before, but did you know that for every inch the head moves forward in posture, it increases the weight of the head by a staggering 10 pounds? The average head weighs approximately 11 pounds. So with that knowledge, when a head is held forward from the shoulders by only 3 inches, it causes approximately 43 pounds of pressure on the neck and upper back muscles.
Now that’s a potential for a 43 pound headache. Yikes! They need a Forward Head Posture Fix and fast.
You’ll notice that guys in the picture above all have their shoulders rounded. This causes their upper back muscles to overstretch and chest muscles to become tight. This posture can potentially compress the brachial plexus, which is the network of nerves that originate in the neck and feed into the armpit region and down into the arms. A brachial plexus impingement can lead to a number of problems from numbness in the hands, to thoracic outlet syndrome or carpal tunnel-like symptoms.
Text Thumb is an overuse injury to the thumb tendons caused by the repetitive movements of texting while using the smartphone. The thumb strain comes more from the thumb movement of swiping the screen versus pressing down.
The origin of the pain is located where the thumb muscles attach into the hand. The muscles of the thumbs are involved because they cause the movement, but it’s the rubbing of the tendon sheaths against the styloid process of the radius that leads to the pain of the Text Thumb.
#1 Prevent Smartphone injuries by taking a break.
Take a break from being frozen like the Tin Man (from the Wizard of Oz) before Dorothy and the Scarecrow loosened his joints with that trusty oil can.
Every few minutes move around and change your posture.
#2 Trying to use your smartphone as close to eye level as possible.
Just make sure that your arms are supported. One way to do is this is to put one forearm across your stomach and then the other elbow can rest on top of it and then you can bring your smartphone higher to eye level.
Unfortunately, this posture isn’t the best for typing, unless you have telekinesis.
One way around this is to prop your elbows on a chair’s armrest to help support your arms. Now you have both hands free to type away.
If no armrest is available, then you can support your arms against your trunk. Even though you might round your shoulders, you can now bring your phone higher to eye level.
The final tips that I’ll leave you with is to support your elbows on your knees and instead of giving your smartphone a death grip, lighten it up and try to be more gentle. Do the same when typing. It’s funny, some people like to tap so hard with their fingers as if they’re claws. Just remember to hold gently and tap lightly and you’ll be a lot less likely to get a future injury.
The Forward Head Posture Fix was created by Rick Kaselj MS, a leading kinesiologist and injury specialist and co-author of Unlock Your Hip Flexors.
Rick’s program (which includes both ebook and video) takes you through what he calls a “sequential flow” of 10 exercises that combine muscle re-education drills, breathing exercises, mobility exercises, deep cervical flexor exercises, self massage, static stretching, and postural strengthening.
The whole sequence takes roughly 15 minutes and you just do it once a day. And like Unlock Your Hip Flexors, it only costs around $6.
#4 Prevent Smartphone injuries by getting a massage. Need I say more?
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