Pain In Your Thumb? It Could Be ‘Texting Thumb’
You’ve heard of carpal tunnel and text neck, but now people are experiencing something called texting thumb.
The technology-related injury is caused from the repetitive motion of using your thumb to text and scroll the screen of a smartphone.
Keeping the thumb bent causes swollen tendons and wrist pain on the thumb side of the hand.
Severe cases include a decrease in motion, stiffness, soreness, twitching of the thumb, and sensitivity to touch, according to Health Hype.
The good news is the pain usually heals on its own with time and nursing of the injury, but there are tips and tricks to help avoid texting thumb all together, or to avoid experiencing it again.
First thing is to limit the amount of time spent on the device. Whether it’s a smartphone or tablet, making sure you take breaks not only helps prevent texting thumb, it also helps prevent text neck and eye strain.
The R.I.C.E approach is used in soft tissue injuries such as this one. Make sure to rest the thumb, ice it, use compression, and elevate the thumb.
For severe pain try using a hand and wrist brace to help demobilize the thumb while it heals.
Work out the thumb by doing thumb exercises. Northwestern Memorial Hospital created a chart that demonstrates how to effectively move and stretch the thumb to help decreases the likeliness of developing texting thumb. Check it out here.
And of course, use other fingers to scroll and text on your devices.
The average American spends roughly five hours a day on their phone, according to Tech Crunch, a 20 percent increase compared to 2015.
More people now rely on their phones as their main source of entertainment, using apps to stream and watch TV and movies, or using social media as their source of social interaction.
Today, smartphones also have the capability to allow users to make purchases straight from their phone screen while conducting important business.
It’s truly become the one-stop-shop approach to everyday living.
With all the time spent on digital devices, remember to take a break. Your body will thank you for it.