7 Tech-Related Injuries Massage Therapy Can Address
The number of tech related injuries associated with modern living is rapidly increasing. Despite the fact that today’s innovative gadgets make your life a bit easier, they often leave you in pain.
Have you heard of iPad shoulders or texting thumb? These are just some of the discomforts associated with using a wide range of technological gadgets including laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
By being aware of your posture each time you use your laptop, tablet, smartphone and other digital gadgets
, you can prevent these injuries. But if you’re already experiencing the following signs of discomfort, a way to relieve you from any of these injuries is through natural massage therapy
But first, find out what you are doing wrong while working, emailing, texting, gaming or watching your favorite videos on your gadget.
7 Common Tech-Related Injuries
1. Swiper’s Thumb - De Quervain’s syndrome, also known as “swiper’s thumb” or tenosynovitis of pollicis tendons is a condition that is caused by overusing the muscles extending the thumb while swiping your smartphone screen
. This overuse strains the tendons of your thumb, possibly irritating the radial nerve.
2. Tablet Biceps - If you often hold your tablet away from your torso with both hands so you can view the screen, you can suffer from tablet bicep.
Remember that holding an item statically for a certain period of time
will lead to adaptive shortening. By putting your muscle in a shortened position for any length of time, it thinks that it must stay there. So with a tablet in your hands, it can affect not just your biceps but the muscles around your shoulders as well. This will then increase your risk of developing a repetitive strain injury in your elbow, wrist or shoulder.
3. Mouse Wrist - If you frequently use a computer mouse, the muscles extending to your wrist can be overused
. And this will not just affect your index finger tendon but also your forearm and wrist. As a result, you can suffer from repetitive strain injury and nerve irritation.
4. Texting Thumb - Texting thumb refers to two things: trigger thumb and thumb arthritis.
Trigger thumb happens when the flexor tendon in your thumb is constricted
because of repetitive gripping motions like holding a smartphone or texting. Symptoms include painful snapping or popping if your thumb straightens or bends.
Thumb arthritis refers to the arthritis of the joint that connects your thumb and wrist. This may be caused by forceful pinching motions like texting with your thumbs and gripping your phone.
5. iPad Shoulder - Recently, people are complaining that their iPad (or whatever tablet brand they are using) is causing shoulder pain. iPad shoulder refers to the pain you experience if you use your tablet in a sitting position with the device placed on your lap
Be aware that your shoulder muscles continue into your neck. Thus, poor neck posture will cause strain on the neck and shoulder muscles. The longer you use your tablet in this position, the more strain your eyes will experience as well.
The same is true if you often look down to your laptop or computer screen, thereby causing you to slouch forward for a long period of time. The muscles between your shoulder blades will work harder, causing stiffness and pain in your neck, shoulders and upper back.
6. Standing Desk Ache - Instead of sitting down, some people choose to stand up while working on their computers. But if you put more weight on one leg, your pelvis will be in an imbalanced position
. As a result, the muscle on one side of your pelvis tightens more than the other side, leading to pain.
7. Desktopitis - Desktopitis refers to a condition caused by resting your elbows on your desk for a long period of time
. In extreme cases, this can lead to the irritation of the fluid-filled sac known as “bulsa.” Eventually, your elbow will look like it has a tennis ball stuck on its end.
How Massage Therapy Can Help
Massage has been providing great benefits to people with chronic pain. Some of the above-mentioned injuries are no different.
Massage therapy, along with some lifestyle changes and taking dietary supplements
, will help relieve nerve entrapment, reduce postural imbalances and prevent tissue inflammation. Moreover, massage will address the different symptoms caused by nerve compression due to poor posture.
But before performing a deep tissue massage, for instance, an experienced therapist will assess any postural imbalance first as this will help guide your treatment. Remember that for a certain type of massage therapy to be effective, the therapist must first understand the muscles involved in your condition.
When treating soft tissue, therapists will warm up the tissue with heat and then strip the area with long strokes. After that, they go somewhere else like moving to your other arm. This will help reduce the sensitivity of the area and allow them to work deeper into the tissue.
Massage professionals know that moving around will be gentler and less painful for you. For areas that are too painful, your therapist can go back and repeat longer strokes. The therapy ends with trigger point work and some movement education to relieve more tension.
With regular massage therapy from therapists who have undergone advanced deep tissue massage training and other massage courses, texting thumb and other injuries related to the digital age can all be addressed efficiently.
Marc Innes is the Owner and Principal of the School of Natural Therapies, a training school for Massage & Holistic Therapies located in London. Marc began his career in the NHS and over time, he developed an interest in all things complementary to Allopathic Medicine, in particular, Reiki Healing and EFT, which culminated in running a successful teaching and ‘energy healing’ practice. Marc is passionate about the massage and complementary therapy industry.