The Pain of Technology

neck pain

Sometimes the cost of loving technology is higher than just the cost of the device or its accessories. There are lots of issues with our favorite devices. Sometimes the issues drive us crazy. Our earbuds get tangled into unusable knots, our necks are aching and sore, our thumbs can’t move as well and get achy, and so much more!

Tangled Earbuds

Who hasn’t pulled their earbuds out to plug into their device and found them in a tangled web?  What a mess. Thank heavens for physicists. Recently Professor Robert Matthews  wrote a paper titled “Spontaneous Knotting of an Agitated String.”  The paper says the length and “agitation” of the earbuds make them turn into that big webbed tangle. Rebecca Borison, a contributor on, writes that this paper goes into the exact reasons why they tangle, but “barring changing the physical properties of the earbuds, we were still left with tangled earbuds.”

One option is to wrap your earbuds in thread or yarn. Plenty of DIY solutions litter the internet. Some people tie a knot in their earbuds in an attempt to keep them from tangling. Another option is to use a pair of green earbuds that are created not to tangle.

Aching Necks

Texting, checking your email and whatever else you might do on your smartphone, can really hurt your neck. According to a report from CBS News, “the average adult head weighs 10 to 12 pounds when it’s in the upright or neutral position. However, because of that pesky thing called physics — gravitational pull — the cranium becomes heavier the more you bend your neck. Several times heavier, according to research from Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, which will be published in Surgical Technology International.”

The secret to solving this problem is as easy as standing up straight. Line up your ears with your shoulders and retract your shoulder blades. Tuck your chin instead of stretching it forward. And, take a break once in a while when you are texting.

Sore Thumbs

Our thumbs just aren’t designed for the intensive workouts we are putting them through now that texting is so important in our daily lives. The repetitive motion strains the muscles and tendons. It can also affect your thumbs’ range of motion.

So, what do you do to stop this problem?  Take a break from texting. Use a different finger or hand. Massage your hand. There are even exercises that can relieve the tension and build up your hand strength.

Technology is great. It makes our life so much better. However, there are complications from our use of the technology. Tangled earbuds are not a huge problem. Aching necks and sore thumbs really aren’t fun. But, they can be fixed. The price of loving these devices and the information is not that high.


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