In every facet of modern life humans are interfacing with technology. Many people earn their living operating computers or utilising other electronic devices including smart phones, tablet computers and various other devices. Recreational use of such devices is increasing as well. These devices are increasingly used by children who are likely to be using such devices over their lifetimes often starting in Primary School or even before.
This blog aims to publicise health and medical literature about the various pain disorders that have been associated with human interfaces with technology from an Australian perspective. The best known example is what is know as ‘Repetitive Strain Injury’ or ‘RSI’, but the history of controversy about such disorders goes back much further with conditions such as ‘telegraphist’s cramp’.
Australia has a unique place in the understanding of such disorders. The ‘RSI’ epidemic of the 1980’s in Australia received international attention and resulted in a polarisation of views about the phenomenon within the medical community, leading to pejorative labels such as ‘kangaroo paw’.
It is important that accurate scientific information is available about the risks to musculoskeletal health associated with use of such devices. While the popular media may discuss ‘iInjuries’ or ‘Blackberry Thumb’, there is limited accurate information about such conditions available to health professionals, the organisations that design electronic devices and employers that expect their employees to use such devices at work.