Who knew we’d live in a day where a top concern of the medical community would be “Wii knee” and “Blackberry thumb.” The terms are somewhat funny, but these are real problems for the 21st century patient. In some cases, PDA-related injuries are becoming workers’ comp issues because employees are so often communicating on-the-go. Because I know Santa brought some of you new smartphones, gaming systems, tablets, and other high-tech gadgets, here are some tips for ergonomic electronic use:
• Return urgent messages only, with a smartphone or PDA, to spare your thumbs from overuse. The repetitive, unnatural motion of texting can cause tendonitis or bursitis, and can become a chronic issue over time.
• Sit up straight, and preferably in a chair that provides low-back support. Hunched shoulders and a forward-leaning head put unnecessary pressure on the cervical spine, which can cause tension, subluxation, and pain.
• Keep your wrists as straight as possible when using a game controller or PDA; avoid tilting or holding your wrists in a bent position.
• Rest your elbows while texting or gaming if possible. Holding your arms at your sides can cause shoulder and neck tension.
• Position the TV at eye level when gaming, to avoid eye and neck strain. If you can’t move it up or down, change your own position (standing or sitting on a high-back chair or stool).
• Start slowly and take breaks, especially if you are new to Wii. It may seem laughable, but to go from being inactive to playing hours of Wii Fit can cause injury just as regular athletic activities can.
We hope you enjoy your new toys, but remember these tips to avoid “virtual injuries” and stay healthy so you can enjoy friends, family, and maybe some relaxation during the holidays!
Yours in Health,
Drs. Nick & Delphine Deignan
3143 Western Row Rd.
Mason, OH 45039