Addicted to your mobile phone? Let's face it - most of us are and no one goes anywhere without theirs nowadays!
But did you know that too much phone use can cause bad posture? And it can cause all sorts of problems with your hands, wrists and fingers! Find out more below -
1. Having good posture isn't enough, you need to exercise your neck.
If you use your phone a lot but think it's OK because afterwards you sit up in good posture, unfortunately you are wrong. Today's society means we spend a lot of time in a forward dominate position and our anterior chain (muscles on front of the body) get over used and our posterior chain (muscles on the back of body) get weaker. No matter how much time you spend in good static posture you need to work the muscles to give strength endurance to the posterior chain.
2. Your head weighs the same as a bowling ball.
The human head weighs 10-12 lbs (4.5-5.5kg) and for every inch that it comes forward it adds an additional 10 lbs. I personally measure that distance on my patients and on average I find there is a 2-4-inch dysfunction. This extra load puts extra pressure on the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia. Over time they will wear out a lot quicker.
3. Prolonged creep is worse than multiple little uses.
But what does this mean? Say you spent 15 minutes reading an article on your phone on the train but didn’t use it again for rest of day. Or you looked at your phone for 30 seconds but did this 100 times in a day making a total of 50 minutes. You would be worse off with the 15 minutes in one hit. Over time creep sets in on the body and biomechanical changes begin to occur on the body. Try to limit the time you spend in long succession.
4. Thumb and wrist pain.
If you use your phone a lot you can increase your chance or carpal tunnel and thumb pain. Repetitive typing can lead to tightening of the muscles around the wrist and thumb and compress the nerves which run through the carpal tunnel. The most common is the median nerve and this will give a sensation of pain, tingling and numbness into the thumb, index and middle and half of the ring finger down to the wrist.
5. Elbow Pain.
The muscles which supply our wrist and fingers are located on our forearm and this attaches onto the elbow. The ones which flex go onto the inside of the elbow and the ones which extend the outside of the elbow. When these get overworked with typing and holding a phone, they pull on the elbow and inflame the tendons. Overtime this leads to tendonitis/tendinopathy (commonly known as tennis and golfers' elbow).
So in conclusion, try to limit the amount of time you are on your phone as much as possible. Try reading a book or doing some mindful breathing instead of reaching for your device during the ad break.
If you think your posture may be suffering or you are experiencing any pain, get in touch now!