Smartphones May Mess With Your Muscles

phonehandGo ahead and admit it.  There are precious few minutes when you aren’t looking at or responding to a post, email, text, photo or ping on your smartphone or tablet. All this contact has revolutionized business and communication and caused exponential growth in personal and social networks.  It’s also caused physical damage.

Smart device users everywhere are suddenly experiencing soreness, from tension in thumbs and sore fingers from texting to neck spasms from hunching over tiny screens, to wrist pain from constantly grasping the device.

And that’s not all.  Because text on smartphones is typically smaller, and the screen is brighter, and is held more closely, than your laptop or desktop computer screen, eyestrain comes on quickly.  That eyestrain can lead to eye soreness, dizzyness, blurry vision, headaches and facial muscle strain.

In August 2014, there were 1.8 billion smartphone users worldwide, up 25% from 2013. If you’re a smartphone user, you may already be feeling the physical effects.

And then there are repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, and “smartphone elbow” to worry about.

Late-night smartphone use can disrupt sleep patterns and cause unnecessary fatigue, irritability, mental “fogginess” and a lack of engagement the following day. Some researchers even suggest that the backlight on the phone interferes with the production of melatonin, a chemical that regulates falling asleep and staying asleep.

But never fear, massage can help. A “smartphone-relief” massage session will focus on releasing tension in muscles in your shoulders, neck, hands, forearms, wrists and fingers.  While massage can go a long way in helping calm or alleviate symptoms of prolonged smartphone use, it’s a good idea to re-examine your usage patterns too and just disconnect every once in a while.