Physiotherapists say they are now just as likely to see people with injuries caused by social media as with sports.
Bury Physio, in Maynewater Lane, Bury St Edmunds says the use of smart phones, tablets and other hand held devices is leading to pain for some frequent users.
Chartered physiotherapist Tanya Legrand said: “We’re seeing a lot more of this now, particularly in young people and even children.”
Complaints include ‘text neck, caused by a constant downward gaze, which can put up to 27kg of strain on the neck muscles.
‘Blackberry and Apple thumble’ is caused by constant texting using the thumbs, which are not designed for such movement so users get painful tendonitis in thumb and wrist. Physios advise using fingers and changing the hand you hold the device with.
Physios fear for the future. Tanya explained: “They start younger on these devices now and they’re less active. At a young age the problems are easily addressed with positive advice, because there is no structural damage.”
But the longer we do it wrong, the harder it is to put right. Not only are injuries harder to correct in older people, but poor posture is a habit so when they try to change the way they use a device, it feels ‘wrong’.
She believes schools could help by teaching correct posture when using computers and hand held devices.