June 2016

Computer Use, Arthritis and Stem Cell Treatment

Does extended computer use lead to arthritic disorder, and can Stem Cell Treatment help to reverse the effects?

It is no secret that we live in a highly connected world, and that navigating this world requires almost constant interaction with laptops, desktop computers, mobile phones and tablets. In addition, the digitisation of our lives has ceased to be limited to a single zone of our activities; it extends out of the workplace and into the home, the social environment and beyond. Whilst none of these things are considered on any level surprising, and it would indeed be difficult to imagine a life that operates otherwise to this, our need for digital interfaces has had a tangible effect on our physical wellbeing. The primary means of communication in 2016, the keyboard and the mouse, have introduced a number of new and increased risks to the hands, fingers and wrists that operate them in the form of arthritic disorders and general ‘wear-and-tear’ strain on these muscles.

 

 

Some of the most documented issues include Tendonitis, the inflammation of tendons in the wrist that cause pain when using the hands, and Carpal Tunnel, the inflammation of nerves in the fingers causing acute pain when using the hands. For many years these issues have been in the realms of virtuoso musicians and old age, but with more than 50% of workers using computers and more than 60% of households owning computers, they are now widespread on a new level. These issues are not just due to overuse alone, they are clearly related to misuse at the same time. Some of the most common mistakes I can observe in myself; as I type today it is likely that my back is beginning to hunch, that my fingers are strained in position over the right-click, and that my wrists are insufficiently supported to allow comfortable typing.

Suitable treatments are now easy to find in the market for ergonomic keyboards, wrist supports and alternative mouse designs. Sadly, these often come too late, and many patients are referred to physiotherapy or to anti-inflammatory drugs to resolve the issue. Among the many treatments a recent and popular example is stem cell surgery. Stem Cell Treatment for arthritic disorders has become a growing alternative to other options as it is now affordable in many parts of Europe including the Czech Republic where medical tourism is sustained at least partly by patients seeking this treatment. In difference to physiotherapy or drug treatment, Stem Cell Treatment focuses on treating stem cells from the patient specifically so that they can migrate into degenerated areas and initiate active regeneration. This is done by the creation of tissue that heals defects in cartilage that has suffered degeneration.

 

The number of treatments on offer for arthritis, especially when applied to the most affected areas from computer usage, are something of a blessing for the contemporary human. It is important to remember that at our fingertips there is never simply a keyboard but also a number of ways to engage with it that can be harmful or helpful. Preventative measures like correct stretching and equipment are essential and developments such as Stem Cell Treatment are now a viable, effective option for more severe situations.

 

Sources:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430144733.htm

https://www.zocdoc.com/answers/12150/can-you-get-arthritis-from-computer-use

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19898778

http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/arthritis-today-magazine/165-summer-2014/could-stem-cell-therapies-be-the-answer-for-osteoarthritis.aspx

https://www.cirm.ca.gov/our-progress/awards/stem-cell-based-therapy-cartilage-regeneration-and-osteoarthritis