Screen Time Injuries

In recent times, healthcare providers have noticed an increase in cases of neck and upper limb pain, which has caught our attention. Unlike back pain, which we often associate with heavy lifting or sitting for long periods, neck and upper limb discomfort seem to affect people of all ages, not just older adults. There’s growing evidence that our fondness for computers and personal devices might be playing a role, putting strain on our necks and shoulders, especially since we spend so much time using them.

People often describe feeling stiffness in the upper back and neck, difficulty turning their heads, or some discomfort when bending forward. If left unaddressed, these symptoms can worsen, sometimes leading to headaches, limited shoulder movement, or even tingling sensations in the arms or hands.

Think of it like holding a heavy object close to your body versus extending your arm out to hold it. Similarly, when we tilt our heads forward to look at screens, it puts extra pressure on our necks and upper backs, which can lead to discomfort over time.

Certain areas, like where the neck meets the upper back, are more vulnerable to these strains. This can cause pain near the shoulder blades and, in some cases, tingling sensations down the arms.

There are simple things we can do to ease these symptoms. For instance, try raising your devices to eye level and taking breaks to stretch and move around. Exercises to improve shoulder flexibility can also help.

If you’re experiencing discomfort, don’t worry! Physiotherapy can provide relief through gentle exercises and hands-on techniques. And remember, it’s essential to be mindful of our posture when using devices and to take breaks regularly.

By being aware of these habits and making small adjustments, we can reduce the chances of experiencing discomfort and keep enjoying the benefits of technology without any worries.

Pro Physio SA
Alex Townsley, Physiotherapist

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