Strain in the Digital AgeAuthor: Massage Heights
The digital age has created so many conveniences but has had an effect on our health. There is a real link between using electronic devices and the negative effects this has on our bodies which has led to higher incidences of back, neck, and hand pain in individuals that engage in laptop and smartphone usage for extended periods of time.
As a leader in the massage and spa industries, Massage Heights is passionate about spreading the word on the benefits of massage therapy. We are proud to be a cornerstone partner for the global Massage Makes Me Happy movement which is an initiative housed under the Global Wellness Institute. While we do promote these benefits year round, we participate in a bigger celebration during the month of March leading up to the official Massage Makes Me Happy and Healthy Day which occurs every year on March 20th.
This initiative is all about honoring massage therapists and promoting the benefits of massage therapy. One of those benefits is how massage can ease the strain in our bodies created by the use of digital technology.
If you spend most of the day at your computer and/or looking down at an electronic device you may be surprised to learn that you are one of hundreds of thousands who may be suffering from neck, back, and hand pain caused from sitting in the same position for long periods of time.
While many people enjoy the convenience of technology, they may not realize that improper posture while using a laptop, smartphone or tablet is increasingly becoming known as the strain of the digital age.
If you are suffering from chronic joint and muscle pain in your back or neck, you might know that digital usage is a culprit, but did you know that long-term forward head posture may also increase the risk for accelerated degenerative spinal changes?
The good news is that by taking steps now, you can slow down the progression and bring relief to your aches and pains associated with digital strain. Research has shown that massage therapy has become an affective part in easing the symptoms of osteoarthritis and other chronic conditions involving the spine. And unlike medication, there are few to no risks associated with receiving massage therapy, making it a very appealing treatment to consider if you suffer from chronic pain.
Massage Therapy plays a key role in:
- reducing pain and discomfort
- increasing range of motion and flexibility
- enhancing quality of life
- boosting mood
By stretching, strengthening, and keeping muscles loose, you'll make it easier for your body to heal itself from whatever ails it. (Including the strain from watching all those funny videos on social media!) If you’re suffering from chronic back pain due to digital strain, here are a few self-care tips you can do in between your professional massage sessions.
While using a computer:
- Sit upright and look straight ahead.
- Eyes should point directly at the top third of the computer screen.
- Forearms should be parallel with the floor when typing.
- Elbows should be at the side.
- Feet should be flat on the floor with the thighs parallel with the floor.
- Take intermittent breaks.
While using mobile phone:
- Stand or sit upright, don’t slouch or slump.
- Keep the phone at eye level.
- Minimize the amount that the arms are floating in front of the body.
- Find a place to rest your elbows: use opposite hand, ribs, a desk, and knees as possible options.
- Use phone’s voice dictation instead of texting.
For many in our generation, the digital lifestyle is not only a fact of life, but it's also a source of pain, discomfort, and frustration. We all want to be connected 24/7, but the reality is that our poor posture and habits are causing some serious discomfort. The best thing we can do for our necks is to take breaks from the devices we use every day and use the tips above. If you're experiencing pain or discomfort in your neck or shoulders, book an appointment with a professional massage therapist who can help alleviate some of the tension and pain, and get you back to a healthier and HAPPIER you.
For more information about these studies, or the Massage Makes Me Happy Global Initiative, please visit: The Touch Research Institute, University of Miami, www.miami.edu/touch-research, The Global Wellness Institute, www.globalwellnessinstitute.org , or Massage Makes Me Happy, www.massagemakesmehappy.com.