Spending a lot of time sitting in front of the computer, the TV, tablet, spending a lot of time with the smartphone, causes muscle and joint problems in children, because of the sedentary lifestyle they promote, and also can generate certain psychomotor problems and of course at some psychological level.
And keep in mind that two hours of daily exercise or sports and/or social interaction do not counteract all the negative effects of 4, 5, 6 or more hours of skeletal muscle inactivity (and "isolation" from human contact) beyond the one that can be generated by clicking or pushing some fingers on the touch screens.
Of course it is important for children to learn to use these devices, but the focus on them should be in a smaller proportion compared to physical exercise and sports.
Some people always talk about mental and emotional problems the abuse of social networks and electronic equipment can generate, but few things are discussed about the sequels that already are beginning to see at the muscular level, mainly.
Technological devices induce sedentarism
The truth is that, as confirmed by specialists, in recent years there have been increased consultations of parents who seek help for their children because of problems such as tendonitis, spasms or carpal tunnel syndrome, among other alterations in their children, which limit their mobility and the ability to perform activities normally.
In fact, children and adolescents, who spend hours and hours doing homework with the help of the internet, chatting with friends, watching videos or movies and exploring the world through this way (internet), are the most affected.
A sedentary education (where they spend seated and where they must do many tasks and homeworks of these subjects in their homes) is not good and is actually bad for their health. Then, knowing the main problems your children, nephews or grandchildren are exposed to, learn how you can contribute to prevent those problems.
Clinically defined as chronic inflammation of the tendons, which occurs because of repetitive movements over prolonged periods of time. It can occur at the level of the fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders and neck.
It is very common in the extensor muscle short and the abductor long of the thumb caused by the abuse of the smartphone by using many applications like whatsapp, facebook, instagram among others and of course by playing some video games.
In this case the pain occurs when a child extend this finger or try to separate it from the rest of the hand and especially when holding or grabbing objects (especially when it is a cellphone or a tablet with a lot of weight).
The typical manifestations of this problem are pain, tingling and loss of strength in the affected area, which become incapacitating in most cases.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
It is an inflammation of the median nerve, which passes through the anterior aspect of the wrist, which is compressed or trapped by muscles and tendons.
It occurs due to the inappropriate postures adopted for a long time when holding the smartphone (especially when it is very large one and heavy), the control of the TV or tablet. Also by repetitive movements of all the fingers, somehting that happen in a more intensive way when spending time working on the computer.
The tingling, loss of strength and pain that distinguish this anomaly are generated in the hand, at the wrist level, but can radiate to the elbow and even to the shoulder, causing difficulty in grasping or lifting objects and also can limit the movement of the index finger and thumb.
It can be complicated because of the atrophy muscles in fingers, hand and forearm suffer and also sometimes this can be observed in the shoulder muscles.
When this atrophy is generated at the level of the muscles of the fingers and hand, a pathological anomaly known as "Claw Hand" is generated.
In chronic cases this anomaly may require surgery in which the muscles and tendons are separated and the nerve is decompressed.
As a result of bad postures, the neck muscles try to "defend" themselves against this stress situation, so that causes the fibers contract or generate extreme tension involuntarily, persistently and abruptly, causing pain.
These (spasms) are more common at the level of the neck that can also cause headaches, pain when turning the head, pain in the shoulder or the arm, which is very incapacitating in some cases.
OTHER COMMON PROBLEMS:
EPICONDILIIIS. It is an inflammation of the elbow that causes difficulties in mobility and is manifested with acute pain.
ROTATOR CUFF. In this case the shoulder movements are restricted by atrophy in the muscles surrounding the glenohumeral joint.
CIFOSIS. The posture with the head forward and the shoulders forward like a hump adopted when using the cell phone or the computer, it causes stress in the cervical vertebrae. Dorsal spine deviations may also occur.
WHAT TO DO?
In general, all these problems have a similar treatment that may include:
- Cold compresses on the affected area during the first 48 to 72 hours, from 10 to 15 minutes.
- Warm baths with calendula or bicarbonate, in sessions of 10 to 15 minutes.
- Mobility exercises, stretching.
- Stretches of the muscles in order to elongate them to avoid the high degree of stress that produces the constant tension of the same ones because of adopting postures.
- Therapeutic massages.
- Creams that provide heat.
- Postural reeducation.
HOW TO PREVENT THESE PROBLEMS?
Parents should recommend the following to their sons and daughters, grandchildren, nephews, etc. to prevent them from suffering the mentioned problems:
- Restrict the frequency and time of use of electronic equipment. It should not be daily or for more than two hours in a row.
- When using electronic equipment such as technological devices, for several hours, they should take breaks every fifteen minutes preferably doing mobility exercises and/or stretching and if these exercises can include displacements, it will be much better.
- In periods of rest they can do exercises such as stretching the fingers of one hand by pulling them back with the other; Flexing and stretching the fingers of the hands by forcefully extending them or making circular movements with the wrists.
- Do not perform several activities at the same time.
As, for example, eating while watching television, it induces bad posture, and at the same time the digestive process is altered since children organisms are not 100% concentrated in the digestion of food.
- Always keep the back straight when using any electronic equipment (technological devices).
- Place a cushion to support the arms while sitting chatting.
- Use a suitable furniture for the use of different equipment. Ideally, the screen of the same is always in front of the view or a little below, never higher.
- Encourage the practice of sports or artistic activities that keep children and adolescents away from these equipment.