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Good-laptop-use

Laptop Use: 6 Tips to Keep You Healthy

Laptops are an essential part of daily life these days, however they can also be a source of neck pain, back pain, and hand strain. The very aspects of the laptop that make them so useful—its small size and compact keyboard and screen all in one—are what also make it so difficult to use without putting strain on our bodies. If we move the laptop high enough to see it without having to scrunch down, the keyboard will be too high for our hands to use well. If the keyboard is at a good height, the screen will be so low we might find ourselves bending over and scrunching down to get a good look at it.

 

Laptop Tips

There are several things you can do to make a laptop work while still saving your body in the process.

 

  1. Sit up with your spine straight and head balanced. Then look out at the horizon. Move your eyes down to meet the screen, not your neck. Tilt the screen of the laptop until you can see it well without having to bend your neck or hunch your shoulders in order to see it.
  2. Move the laptop far enough away from your body so that your arms aren’t pulling backward in order to use the keyboard. Be sure your arms are able to hang freely from the shoulders without tension.
  3. Use a book to raise the laptop a little closer to eye level. (Put it under the back half of the computer to raise it at a slight angle.)
  4. Place the laptop on enough books to raise the screen up to eye level. Then attach an external keyboard and place it at a height which will allow your arms to remain parallel with the floor as you work.
  5. If you wear glasses, be sure that you adjust them to fit you, not the other way around. Sometimes we can create neck pain by adjusting our necks so we can see through our glasses rather than adjusting our glasses so they are where they need to be for us to see the screen.
  6. If you find that sitting causes pain, you may want to try standing as you work. A kitchen countertop may be just the right height. Keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet to avoid strain on your back.

 

Work is so much easier if we’re comfortable while we’re doing it! We’d love to hear from you. Let us know which tips have been the most helpful!

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/arranging-a-childs-computer-station-for-good-posture/

http://maronewellness.com/what-do-you-look-like-when-you-use-your-phone-or-tablet/

http://maronewellness.com/i-pad-hand-the-new-technology-syndrome/

http://maronewellness.com/taking-care-of-that-not-so-furry-mouse/

http://maronewellness.com/how-do-you-use-your-hands-at-the-computer/

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

 

Handwriting

Handwriting Tips to Avoid Painful Hands

Pain while writing can be a result of something as simple as a tightened muscle, to something more involved such as arthritic changes. Handwriting doesn’t have to be painful, however. If we learn to use our hands and our writing implements properly, pain can be avoided or at least lessened.

  • Sit upright so that you are not putting your body weight on your forearm as you write. Doing so can put pressure on nerves and create pain.
  • It is best for your upper and lower arm to form an “L” or a wider angle as you write. The more your elbow is bent the greater the hand and wrist strain will be.
  • Keep your fingers and hand relaxed. Be aware of the back of your hand remaining relaxed.
  • Watch for knuckles turning white. This is a tell-tale evidence of tension.
  • The more open your fingers are the better. Curled (as opposed to curved) fingers put more tension on the flexor tendons and can lead to pain.
  • Allow your wrist and forearm to move your writing implement rather than your fingers. Keep your fingers as still as possible.
  • Be sure that your paper is at an angle that allows your wrist to stay relaxed. If not, rearrange your work space until the wrist is “neutral”—straight in relation to your hand and forearm, as it looks when it is hanging comfortably at your side.
  • If your thumb is painful while writing, try supporting your pencil in the web space between the index finger and middle (long) finger.
  • Use cursive as much as possible. Cursive writing puts less strain on the hands than printing.
  • Practice writing with larger lines. Larger handwriting is less stressful on the hands than small, cramped writing.
  • Use writing implements that are larger in diameter. They allow your hand to be more open.
  • Use rubber grips, tubing or tape on the end of your pencils and pens to reduce the amount of force necessary to grip.
  • Pens with easy flow ink, gel, or roller balls require less pressure and put less friction between the tip and the paper. Try switching to one of those.
  • Be sure to pace yourself. Take breaks when writing, and write more slowly.

Happy handwriting!

As usual, please feel free to let us know which of these ideas was the most helpful to you by leaving a comment below.

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/what-do-you-look-like-when-you-use-your-phone-or-tablet/

http://maronewellness.com/i-pad-hand-the-new-technology-syndrome/

http://maronewellness.com/taking-care-of-that-not-so-furry-mouse/

 

 

myofascial pain syndrome, trigger point pain

Dry Needling for Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Often patients come to see us with trigger point pain (often referred to as myofascial pain syndrome). One therapy that we use to help them is called dry needling. Our goal in dry needling is to release or inactivate trigger points. This then helps to relieve pain and improve range of motion. Because it goes directly to the source of pain, dry needling may help patients to see progress more quickly than other therapies.

Why “Dry” Needling for Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Dry needling is based in Western medicine and is backed up by much research. Practitioners have specialized training in the field. We call this therapy “dry” needling because no medication or injection is involved. The needle that we use is a very thin filament needle, unlike the thicker hypodermic needles used at a doctor’s office. Because of this, entry is much more comfortable. Often patients do not feel the insertion at all. After the needle is inserted and the muscles relax, there may be a slight sensation of aching or cramping, but typically patients notice an immediate improvement after treatment.

 

Dry needling has many benefits to patients. It improves blood flow and healing to the area, reduces muscle tension and tight muscle fibers associated with trigger points, and decreases pain while increasing function. We use this therapy for many issues including migraines, tension headaches, or chronic muscle pain.

 

If you are experiencing pain from myofascial pain syndrome, give us a call. Dr. Marone can perform a thorough evaluation to determine if you are a good candidate for this treatment as part of a program designed to reduce your pain and improve your function.

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

Understanding and Treating Peripheral Neuropathy, Part II

Traditional Treatments

Traditional medicine will usually treat this condition with anti-depressants or anti-convulsants as well as pain relievers which are sometimes addictive and dangerous. These will help with the symptoms (and may add to the toxic burden put on the liver), but they do not address the underlying cause of PN.

Read More

Understanding Peripheral Neuropathy, Part I

Peripheral Neuropathy (PN) has become a troubling issue for many people. It usually begins in the hands and feet but then progresses up the arms and legs. The most common symptoms associated with PN are pain, swelling, numbness, or a “pins and needles” sensation. It has been estimated that over 20 million people in the US alone have PN. Nearly 60% of those suffering from diabetes will also experience symptoms of PN. Neuropathies (diseases of the nerves) occur when there is nerve damage or disease in the nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body.

Read More

“I-Pad Hand”: The New Technology Syndrome

Technology is wonderful, but it comes at a price to our bodies. Tablet use has led to a new form of repetitive strain injury dubbed “i-pad hand” or “text claw.” This results when people hold their device in their (typically) left hand for long periods of time with the corner of the tablet pushing into the tensed thumb muscle (similar to the way they would hold a plate). Users are experiencing aches and pain in the left hand. This can also progress to pain up the arm and into the shoulders and neck. A few users have reported symptoms as devastating as paralysis.

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Taking Care of That Not-So-Furry Mouse!

Stop a moment to notice what you are doing with the mouse right now as you read. Are you gripping it for dear life? Do you actually need to be holding the mouse at all? As you move the mouse around, are you putting tension in your shoulders, arms, or hand? How about when you click—are you using the minimum amount of energy necessary, or are you pounding on it? Where is the mouse—are you having to reach to use it?

Read More