Neck & Shoulder pain - Guitar Hero

Part 3) Guitar Hero - the game

I recently had a young lady visit me with shoulder pain which she has had for a couple of years. She had torn a shoulder muscle. She had seen a specialist about it and they informed her that it was a very unusual to have such a tear at such a young age. It was normally seen in much older people. The young lady had no idea how it had come about. She could not recall any trauma to the area. Even when she came for a treatment with me she still had no idea. It wasn't until I informed her that I had a similar injury and the position at which my arm was at when it happened, that she clicked as to what could have caused it. Yes, guitar hero the game. She used to play it at the most advanced level very often until the injury! I have also had clients who have strained their neck and shoulders due to playing the real guitar.

Neck & Shoulder pain - The cross trainer

Part 2) The cross-trainer (or elliptical trainer)

Keeping fit can spell injury for some. One piece of equipment which has brought in some clients is the cross-trainer (also known as the elliptical trainer). It is a stationary exercise machine which simulates walking or running without any impact on the joints. No impact, no injury -right? Not quite, as it seems. Yes, sure there is not pressure on the joints which you would normally get while pounding the pavement but what about the way you have to hold these machines? I have never personally used one myself but just looking at the way these things are designed explains why my clients are suffering. The handle bars are too high and makes the arm swing in an unnatural way, in no way simulating the normal arm swing during walking and running. I would presume that most people using these machines would grip the handles too tightly. Add in the arm swing and do it for a prolonged period. The neck and shoulder muscles become strained. This doesn't mean that you should stop using the cross-trainer if you enjoy it - just don't use the handgrips!

Neck and Shoulder pain - Iphone & Nintendo DS

I see a lot of people with neck and shoulder pain. The main cause has been poor posture and being slumped over at the desk eight hours a day, five days a week. Recently I have had clients who have strained their necks and shoulders due to using some very common devices.


The Iphone and Nintendo DS

Yes, this little phone can be a big pain in the neck! I remember when they first came out a few years ago. I had a client who I saw regularly and she told me that she suddenly developed a really tight neck and was having headaches. She had not done anything too strenuous or different since I last saw her. It wasn't til the end of the treatment and she went to call her husband on her new iphone. She told me that it was fabulous and that she used it to surf the net, send mail, play games. Aha! This poor lady had been slumped over this little device for hours each day, chin down on her chest, tapping away with one hand. The result of this is that the chest and neck muscles at the front shorten, the shoulder muscles are stretched. keep yourself in one position too long and all sorts of pain arise.

iphone massage

Recently I have seen younger clients with this iphone syndrome (my own name for this condition). One was an 11yr old girl who was in so much pain that I could barely touch her when her mother brought her in for a treatment. She was having to take panadol forte for headaches daily! She was spending a lot of time on her home computer, her Nintendo DS, and also her mother's iphone! Triple the pain! I could only advise her mother to gently massage her daily and apply a heat pack to help calm the pain down.

I myself have been a victim of the iPhone syndrome. Playing Angry Birds on it! So I do understand how easy it is to injure yourself. Lucky I know how to fix myself up. Anything that puts you into that chin-down to chest, arms having to reach forward position will create a lot of neck and shoulder pain.

I can only suggest reducing the usage of these devices (I know nobody will do this) or position yourself very well when using them.

I am always telling my little girl to lie back on some cushions (so her head is supported) and placing her arms on another cushion to raise her Nintendo DS to eye height. This has helped a lot in reducing her neck pain.