We are starting to see young patients at the Putney Clinic in the 18-36 year age group with repetitive strain injuries (RSI) from excessive use of computers, iPads, smart phones and PlayStations. Common conditions that we regularly treat are: inflammatory tendon injuries of thumbs and fingers; tennis and golfers elbow from excessive use of the forearm muscles, and low back and neck pain from prolonged sitting in poor postural positions.
The increasing use of computers and smart phones, particularly in the younger population, will inevitably lead to a rise in the frequency of low back and neck pain and repetitive strain injuries. There is also concern about the physiological effects of sedentary behaviour and the associated health risks such as obesity, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. There is further concern about the link between sedentary behaviour and psychosocial health. Martin et al (2009 ), produced strong evidence linking increases in physical activity to improved mental health and psychosocial well-being.
We cannot turn the clock back and abandon our use of technology. However, we need to address prolonged sedentary behaviour as a new public health issue. Reducing sedentary time by encouraging higher volumes of light or moderate intensity physical activity is one of a range of measures which will help stop the decline.
If you are noticing any pain while (or after) using your smart phone, tablet or gaming console, you may be suffering from a repetitive strain injury. For appointments with our team of Osteopaths, call us at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy on 0208 789 3881. Alternatively, you can use our online booking system or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.