Smartphone Overuse Injuries
Although smartphones have made it easier than ever to stay connected with employers, family members, and friends, there are also downsides to having this type of technology at our fingertips. For instance, a number of studies have revealed that cell phone overuse could be negatively impacting our health, as more and more people report problems with cramping and pain in the neck, poor posture, and even depression. Being familiar with the most common types of overuse injuries, as well as how to prevent them or reduce their impact is critical when it comes to avoiding or recovering from a cell phone overuse injury.
Over the last few years, there has been a marked increase in overuse injuries that affect the fingers, hands, arms, and neck. This is largely attributable to the fact that tapping, typing, and swiping hundreds of times a day can place the muscles, tendons, and nerves under extreme strain. For example, hundreds of cell phone users have been diagnosed with “text neck”, an injury that involves cramping and extreme pain from looking down at one’s screen too much.
Although the spine is well-equipped to bear the weight of the human head, it cannot hold up as much weight when curved, which occurs when bending over one’s phone. In fact, over time, the extra strain on the neck and upper back can cause degradation of the discs in the spine. Holding one’s phone at eye level is one of the best ways to ensure that the neck isn’t overly bent for a prolonged period of time. Similarly, poor posture, which affects the spine and respiratory functions has been linked to cell phone overuse.
We use our thumbs a lot when using our phones, whether it’s texting, checking email, or even just gripping the phone itself. This repetitive motion can lead to pain and numbness, particularly in the carpometacarpal joint, where the hand connects to the thumb. If overly strained, this joint can swell and develop arthritis. Using voice to text options and using all of one’s fingers to text can go a long way towards preventing this type of injury.
Although most cell phone users aren’t aware of it, we actually blink about 66 percent less when looking at a screen, which can cause dryness and itching. More seriously, staring at small images over long periods of time can also cause eye strain, leading to headaches and vision problems. Cell phone overuse has even been linked to a lack of sleep in users, as the blue light emitted from modern phones can disrupt melatonin production. Making a conscious effort to take breaks from our screens and using eye drops to combat dryness, as well as incorporating more hands-free options can mitigate these types of injuries.
Obtain Legal Assistance Today
Cell phone users are at risk of suffering strained muscles and tendon inflammation in the neck, back, hands, wrists, and fingers. Fortunately, users can be compensated for these types of injuries if the overuse can be linked to workplace responsibilities. Call the dedicated Fort Lauderdale personal injury legal team at Boone & Davis today to learn more. We can be reached at 954-566-9919 or via online message.