Smartphones are everywhere these days. For many people, mobile devices like iPhones and Androids feel less like tools and more like integral parts of day-to-day life. And while it’s easy to enjoy the perks of this amazing technology, excess smartphone usage can also pose health concerns in some cases. That’s why the healthcare providers here at Family Practice Center wanted to take a moment to highlight a few of the more common health issues associated with smartphone use and how they can be prevented.
Neck & Back Issues
Too much time spent looking down at a phone can cause the neck muscles to become tight or strained. This can also lead to back pain and shoulder stiffness. We recommend taking a break from your phone at least every 20 minutes to stretch your back and neck. Additionally, holding your phone higher up when you text and making an effort not to hunch forward can also help.
Hand & Wrist Issues
Your hands and wrists are also vulnerable to certain issues associated with smartphone overuse. These include trigger thumb, a condition that occurs when the sheath surrounding the thumb tendon thickens so that the tendon can’t slide freely, as well as arthritis in the thumb.
Your eye health can also be affected. The light emitted from many smartphones can tire eyes out quickly and cause pain or eye strain. In some cases, too much smartphone use can even lead to cornea damage and vision problems. It’s important to take time off from mobile devices and remember to blink while you are surfing around on your phone.
Using a smartphone at night when you are in bed can make it more difficult to fall asleep. It’s important to avoid mental stimulation and sleep in a quiet, dark environment to enjoy the best, healthiest possible sleep. We recommend putting away your phone for the night about 30 minutes before you get in bed.
We understand that smartphones are here to stay. With that in mind, being aware of these potential issues caused by mobile technology and being proactive to prevent them is important. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers today, please contact Family Practice Center. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for additional health tips, news, and so much more.