Special Features

Mobile Texting Can Lead To Repetitive Strain Injury

We live in an age where our mobile is an extension of our hand. We don’t go anywhere without it. It has become an essential instrument that allows us to stay in contstant touch with friends, family and work when on the go. However did we manage before SMS or text messages? However for every benefit there is a cost. Dr Charles Jones of the California Chiropractic and Sports Medicine Center says, “If you tend to send a number of text messages, you could be quite literally wearing your fingers to the bone and may be at risk from repetitive strain injury.”

According to Mobile Industry Statistics, 350 billion text messages are sent worldwide each month. As mobile phone technology develops, mobiles are getting smaller, with buttons closer together, Text messaging regularly over a long period of time can cause both long and short term injuries.

Dr Jones continued, “Whenever I go into the clinic reception to greet patients, I see most of them have their heads down, hunched over mobiles, Iphones and Blackberries. They then wonder why they have back and neck ache.! Small, fine movements tend to aggravate the nerves more than larger movements – this together with the smaller buttons can lead to injury as smaller buttons are harder to activate.”

Dr Jones explained, “When we send text messages, we are more likely to tense our shoulders and upper arms. This reduces circulation in the forearm, when in fact it needs a greater blood flow than normal to execute the fine movements of the thumbs and fingers:.

Dr Jones recommends the following exercises before and after texting, and in between texts if they are sent over an extended period.

• Shoulder shrugs - It is easier to relax a muscle once you have tightened, this will relax shoulder muscles and allow blood flow to the arm. Shrug shoulders towards the ears. Hold for 2 – 3 seconds and then relax. Repeat three times.
• Make a fist - hold your arm at right angles fromt he elbow. Make a fist, tense it and then the whole of your arm. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then relax and let the arm flop to your side. Repeat three times to help blood flow and tone the muscles.
• Wrist stretch – stretch the wrist backwards, hold for 2-3 seconds, then stretch it forward for 2-3 seconds. Repeat three times.
• When texting, tilt thumbs towards your wrists, straining the tendons. This stops the wrists tightening
• Finger spread – spread fingers as wide apart as possible, hold for 2-3 seconds then bunch them into a fist. Hold for 2-3 seconds and repeat three times. This keeps fingers and thumbs supple and mobile.
• Neck muscle stretch – when texting we are usually looking down at the phone which means the head is held unsupported, so sit relax with the shoulders supported. Make a double chin and stretch the muscles at the base of the neck. Hold the position for 2-3 seconds and repeat three times.

These “refresher” exercises are also useful for people who spend lengthy periods on computer games consoles.

Dr Jones offers additional tips to reduce muscle irritation:
• Support your arm on a chair or table to take the load of neck and shoulder muscles
• Massage your arm from the wrist to the elbow at regular intervals
• Swap hands regularly’
• Sit in a neutral upright position – head over shoulders and arms comfortably near the body
• Phones don’t feel heavy but the weight is significantly increased if your arm is outstretched as it increased the load on joints and muscles.

Dr Jones and his team offers the following advice to reduce potential back problems:
• When carrying an over the shoulder bag, alternate between botrh shouldes sot he weight and pressure is distributed equally. Also keep the strap as short as possible
• When carrying a laptop, use a rucksack design laptop case. Carry it on both shoudlers and adjust the straps so that the bag sits close to your back
• Stand comfortably when carrying your bag. Avoid long periods in one position. Move around regularly and stretch and exercise back muscles at regular intervals.
• Don’t carry so much in your bag all the time – just what you need.
• Don’t carry your bag for long periods – take a break

Chiropractic and Clinic Background
Whether at home, work or at play, you put your body through a lot each and everyday. Loss of joint movement may be caused by factors including your everyday lifestyle or just simple wear and tear.

Chiropractic treatment is a non-surgical science. Chiropractors look at the human body and give special attention to its physiological and biochemical aspects. Major areas of concern for a chiropractor when examining a patient include spinal or musculoskeletal structure, neurological activity, vascular systems, nutrition habits, emotions, and environmental relationships.

People of all ages and from all walks of life may benefit from chiropractic treatment. People with a range of musculoskeletal (problems with the joints, bones and muscles), particularly back pain, consult chiropractors. Chiropractic care treat can treat the causes of headaches, neck and shoulder pain, mid and low back pain, hip and knee pain, wrist pain, carpel tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow and foot pain, as well as specific sports injuries and rehabilitative physical therapy.

Treatment consists of a wide range of manipulation techniques (some very gentle) designed to improve the function of the joints, relieving pain and muscle spasm. Such skilled manipulation is very specific, directed at individual joints in order to reduce strains and improve mobility in one area without disturbing another. Dr Jones, founder of California Chiropractic & Sports Medicine Center believes in combination of manipulation, physiotherapy and exercise for a more complete approach to treating a patient’s condition.

Because chiropractors understand the underlying stresses that the body can be put under, they can also advise you about preventative measures to try and avoid causing damage or injury.

The California Chiropractic and Sports Medicine Center was established in Dubai Healthcare City in January 2008. Dr Jones has over 20 years’ chiropractic experience and works closely with the Ministry of Health in the licensing of new Chiropractors to the United Arab Emirates, and is a former President of the Emirates Chiropractic Association.

The clinic is subject to the highest level of quality assurance governed by the American Licensing Standards. Dr Jones and his team of like-minded professionals offer the highest quality of chiropractic care anywhere in the world. The team - three chiropractors, an orthopaedic surgeon, sports rehabilitation therapist, physical therapist, physiotherapy nurses and acupuncturist - provide individual advice relating to your lifestyle, work and exercise, in order to help manage a condition and prevent a recurrence of the problem.

If you have a specific question regarding chiropractic treatment, please contact us.

Gillian Haines – Marketing Manager
California Chiropractic & Sports Medicine Center
Suite 2007, Block A, Al Razi Building Dubai Healthcare City
Tel 04 429 8292
Email: doc4athletes@yahoo.com

Angela N Summers
Public Relations Consultant
Tel: 050 552 4991
Email: angela11@eim.ae

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