are so dependant on our digital devices we become addicted. And with any addiction there are always consequences. Repetitive strain injuries or RSIs are the physical consequences of using digital devices. RSIs are generally classified as upper body injuries to the muscles, tendons and nerves due to repetitive motions. Texting, typing and looking down at our digital devices for long periods of time cause many types of repetitive strain injuries. “Text neck” and “iPosture” are fairly new terms used to diagnose repetitive strain injuries. Text neck is repetitive strain injury to the neck. This injury occurs when the head is at a constant downward angle. The
average human head “I have a client, Bob, weighs 10 to 11 pounds, that I see weekly for an this downward angle hour and a half and all places undue stress on he wants me to work on the tiny muscles that is his neck. For an hour keep the head upright. and a half! And when Rene Cailliet, MD theoI’m done, I can feel the rized nearly three demuscles have relaxed, but cades ago, “for every inch the next week they are the neck is flexed (angled as hard as a rock again,” down) adds 10 pounds to says Sandy Gowell, the weight of the skull.” Licensed Massage TherIn turn, this extra weight apist. “Bob works on causes a computer pressure for 10 hours on the “ Repetitive Strain Injries are a day, comes becoming more and more home to conspine, liga- common with the increase in tinue answering digital emails, checking texts and peruses through Facebook ments, tendons, fascia and muscles in the back, to relax. I tell him every neck and scalp. Constant session he needs to get up and move, take a stretch pressure and pulling of neck and upper back break.” muscles creates tightShe adds, “Over the past ness,tension of other areas of the body, headten years or so I have aches and all together seen a definite increase discomfort. in clients with repetitive strain injuries in their
necks, backs and hands due to excessive computer and cellphone use.” Muscles, tendons and ligaments are not meant to work in a continuous repetitive motion. Individual muscles have fibers, these fibers should run in the same direction which enable us to move. When muscles become overexerted and overused by the same actions, the fibers begin to ball up - think of a ball of yarn. This “balling up”effect are the knots in our muscles. The muscle fibers tighten and bunch cutting off oxygen, blood flow, and nutrients necessary to feed an active muscle. The muscles then become polluted, causing pain and limited range of motion. iPosture is the newest name for mid to lower back repetitive strain injuries. iPosture is caused by the slumping of shoulders and slouching while working on digital devices. This compression causes the spine and muscles around it to become weak, creating chronic back pain. According to the New York Daily News, “While millennials spent an average of 8.83 hours in front of their digital devices each day, the over
A zine exploring digital practices and culture.