From: Dr. Murray Smith

Today across my desk comes an article from the American Chiropractic Association(ACA) titled, “Get Techno Healthy!” Basically modern technology is taking a toll on our bodies and health in ways we’ve not experienced in our history.  When I first read the article’s title I thought, “What?  Have we come to the point that technology is having such a deleterious effect on our health that it coins a new term?”  Then I thought about the first 25 years of my practice.  Early on in practice 60% of the conditions that brought people through the doors were related to the low back and 40% was everything else.  Now its 60% related to the neck, arms and shoulders and 40% is everything else.  25 years ago computers were the size of a bus and no one had a PC on their desk. Now computers will fit in the palm of your hand with more computing power than the bus sized one and virtually everyone has at least one.25 years ago there were 10 guys on a construction site with shovels to dig the small holes.  Today that job site has one guy with a shovel and one with a miniature trac hoe.

That got me wondering about the term Techno Healthand what other new terms of the computer age relate to 2011 that were never used on an episode of Star Trek.  That made for an interesting Google search let me tell you.  Here’s a partial list of the conditions I found related to computer and handheld devices:

Cell phone elbow, Nintendonitis, Rock Band Hand, Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome, Joystick wrist, Nintendo thumb, Texting Teen Tendonitis, Wii knee, Wii shoulder, Wii neck, Gamer Rage, Texting Thumb, Screen Diplopia, PS2 Wrist and headache just to name some.  And this doesn’t include injuries from the runaway flying Wii controller.

I also found that the current Guinness world record for texting is 40.72 seconds for a 160 word message.  And I found an article titled, “When the Wii Goes Bad!” I haven’t read it yet but can hardly wait.  And if you want to pass some time, You Tube has several videos listed under that title that should be most entertaining.

“Doc, I’m most amused by the above but what should I do to prevent that stuff?”  To begin with most of the conditions I’ve listed are in the category of RSI’s or Repetitive Strain Injury.That means you’ve used the darn things for too long at one time and the body part is inflamed.  Solution?Take breaks on a regular basis from the offending activity.  Stretch!  Use ice to minimize the inflammation.  Sometimes a brace or support can be helpful.  When the offending tech device is your office computer have an ergonomic evaluation performed.  If need be stop the damaging activity.  For long-term control change your posture during the activity to a more favorable ergonomic one and condition the body part for that activity.  Football players and other athletes condition their bodies for their activity, why not the rest of us mortals?  The ACA has some great references and links on ergonomics and Techno Health at: ( ).  You will find them under the patient section in Health and Wellness Tips.  Thera-Band makes products for exercise and rehabilitation and has a resource area on its website called Thera-Band Academy.  There you can find hundreds of exercises for the arms, hands, shoulders, neck and back.  That link is:

“Doc, I think I already have Wii Knee.  What now?”  Come on in and let me check you out first.  If Chiropractic is part of your recovery I’ll tell you and if not, I’ll tell you that too.  And because I’ve been at this so long I have a nice referral network of other docs, physical therapists, massage therapists and acupuncturist that I can refer you to if that is what is needed.

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