Prolonged use of cell phones is associated with osteomuscular injuries

The prolonged use of cell phones, mainly to send messages or play games, is associated with the development of musculoskeletal injuries, which could be aggravated by the increasingly widespread use of these devices, academic Mauricio Ravelo Izquierdo said Monday.

Ravelo, graduated in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation and professor at the National School of Higher Studies (ENES) León of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, explained that among the most common injuries are Quervain’s tendonitis and neck text or neck pain. texting

Because of the discomfort and inflammation they cause, he said, these conditions can be extremely disabling.
The specialist explained that this type of injuries are increasing due to the growing use of smartphones.

He said that his first symptom is mild pain, but if not treated, it can become intense, to the point of immobilizing the inflamed area and causing an increase in temperature and a change in coloration due to inflammation.

In the hand, the discomfort goes from the thumb to the middle part of the forearm, and in the neck from the nape to the back of the shoulders; In some cases it causes lesions in the nerve endings that emerge from the cervical spine.

The illness of Quervain, explained the teacher of the Degree in Physiotherapy, is an injury that occurs basically by the inflammation of two tendons that go to the thumb: the short extensor and the long abductor.

“They come from the forearm and go to the thumb, they have a movement of extension and abduction, which combined allow us to make fine pincer movements with the index, middle or ring and thumb,” he said.

They are everyday movements, but can lead to a picture of inflammation when performing repetitive manual activities such as kneading, exercising some kind of sustained pressure, writing or knitting, said the university physiotherapist.

He said that this injury is linked mainly to the indiscriminate use of the cell phone, because the screens are small and, consequently, also the keyboard, so that the fine movements of the thumbs cause the tendons to become inflamed.

The specialist said that these conditions can be avoided if the cell phone is used prudently: for periods no longer than 30 minutes, and leave it aside for at least an hour and a half to rest the hand and neck.

“The problem is that there are people who can be three or more hours messaging,” he said.

For example, he stressed, there are reporters who write their notes on smartphones and this action can take more than an hour.

“But if they do it daily and more than once a day, at some point they will swell the tendons or have stiff neck muscles, shoulder and head pain,” he said.

That is why the specialist recommended rest, avoid doing repetitive activities, use non-steroidal analgesics, and in the case of the thumb, use orthoses, which is a type of fixer to rest your finger.

Physiotherapy can also be given with physical means (heat or cold, depending on the stage of the injury), laser, fluid therapy or therapeutic ultrasound.

In the case of Quervain tendonitis, when the tendon is already badly damaged and there is significant wear, surgery can be used, he concluded. (EFE) .-

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