Saturday, January 20, 2007

When High Tech is a Pain in the Neck – and Back and Thumbs…

news you may not know

A Future Day

Spa Devotee...

It’s 2 a.m. and, though he promised he’d be home hours ago, he’s in a real spot. Nothing new, he’s been here many times before. It’s deep into the season and injuries are just a part of the game. As he tosses the Injured Reserve List (IRL) aside and turns his attention to the chalkboard, Bob Cranston has an epiphany. Day Spas! Of course, why hadn’t he thought of it before?

He grabs the IRL and runs down the list: Peters, Blackberry Thumb - Ortega, Tech Neck – Enslow, Programmer’s Shoulder - yeah, all these workers could benefit from a day at the spa. Heck, by next week’s regional conference they should be back up to playing speed, emailing, texting, instant messaging and programming with the best.

Cranston closes his laptop, grabs his Blackberry, taps out a series of messages and, ouch! The pain shoots through his thumb, across his wrist and up his arm. He sends one last message, adding himself to the Day Spa reservation list…

Treatment of high tech related “injuries” is the latest trend at Day Spas. The hours of text messaging, straining to read the computer screen and slouching over the keyboard have proven to be a bonanza for high-end spas. Maladies that were unknown just months ago are now routinely treated at rates ranging from $95 to $225. Specialty treatments are even available to treat the skin irritation caused by overuse of one’s cellphone.

The office’s Injured reserved List more closely mirrors the company roster with each passing day.

Doris Baxter’s New York Day Spa offers a specialized treatment for Tech Neck, which often presents itself with the following telltale symptoms:

-Occipital tightness

-Tingling “pins and needles” in the fingers or forearms

-Strained pectoral muscles

-Tension in the temples and forehead

-Migraine headache

What’s to be done?

Bob Cranston has a plan. He got online – yes, he re-injured his Tech Neck – and ordered a gross of letter-sized notepads and several dozen pens and pencils. He also hired a retraining specialist: a second grade schoolteacher. He figures if his daughter can learn to write using nothing more than her own hand and fingers, so can he and his employees.

If you suffer from Blackberry Thumb, there’s help. The American Physical Therapy Association has devised a series of hand exercises to help alleviate the pain. You may view the instructional video at Exercises for Hand-Held Users.


Blogger Devon Ellington said...

But does insurance cover it? Or, because it's at a spa, is it considered "elective"?

I stop during the day and use inverstions or chest opening postions (chest expansion, backbends, cobra, bow, etc.) when I start hunching, and I go to the acupunturist once a month. It makes a huge difference.

BTW, I'm putting you in my permanet links, if you don't mind. I really like your blog!

1:46 PM  
Blogger Kristen King, Inkthinker said...

Oh my, this is simultaneously a relief, disturbing, and hilarious. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only person with these issues, but it's really sad that these problems are so widespread! Thanks for the info.


9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Tim,

Oh, goodness. Seems like every single thing in the world that is "a good thing" also has a down side.

I guess "moderation in all things" is still wise.

Thanks, Tim. You always have the most interesting health-related news.

Suzanne L.
The Working Writer's Coach

8:36 AM  

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