The advancement in the field of science and technology has led to the development of various gadgets and devices. While the use of these devices has undoubtedly made our lives more convenient, the maxim 'excess of anything is bad', holds true here as well. A cell phone is one such device that we simply cannot do without. Though, it's so much easier to stay in touch with people via messaging, excessive texting could give rise to soreness and pain in and around the thumb. This is due to the fact that rapidly moving the thumb for composing and sending messages could cause strain to the thumb. So, if you are beginning to experience pain, it's time to slow down.
Thumb Pain from Text Messaging
Blackberry Thumb is the term used to indicate thumb problems that might arise due to excessive texting. This problem has begun to plague many cell phone users. Though sending a few messages daily will not cause any problems, those who text messages every other second, could get affected. Unlike a keyboard, wherein you are using fingers for typing, we mainly use the thumb while composing and sending text messages on the cell phone.
It is the repetitive motion of the thumb that causes strain on the structure that forms the thumb joint, thereby making one susceptible to inflammation of the joint at the base of the thumb. This may give rise to soreness, stiffness, swelling, or pain in the thumb. You must, therefore, take precautions before the intensity of pain increases beyond tolerable limits. If preventive measures are not taken soon, pain might even radiate to the wrist. Besides texting, medical conditions such as thumb arthritis, De Quervain tenosynovitis, or carpal tunnel syndrome could also cause pain in thumb. So, it would be better to seek medical help, so that the underlying cause of pain can be identified.
If the aforementioned medical conditions have been ruled out, and texting has been identified as the underlying cause, then avoid repetitive strain on the muscles, tendons, or ligaments of the thumb joint by taking a break from text messaging. This will help the fatigued tendons or ligaments heal faster.
◘ Whenever possible, speak on the phone instead of sending messages.
◘ If the nature of your work requires you to text a lot, try to send brief messages.
◘ Take breaks while you text messages and alternate between the thumbs while composing text messages. This will surely lower the muscle tension that arises at the web space between the index finger and the thumb.
◘ There are several other activities that could exacerbate the pain. These include playing video games or using other miniature hand-held devices. The term 'gamer's thumb' is used for referring to the thumb pain brought on by the habit of playing video games for long stretches of time. The devices that were created to provide enjoyment can bring on suffering as well. So, refrain from any such activity that might worsen the pain.
If the thumb joint pain and swelling is severe, it would be best to consult a doctor soon. Doctors generally recommend the use of anti-inflammatory drugs for reducing pain. If required, they might recommend the use of thumb abduction splints or braces so as to rest the thumb joint. You could also go for physical therapy sessions and learn flexibility exercises for strengthening the thumb joint.
Excessive texting not only puts strain on the nerves, muscles, tendons, or the ligaments in your hand, it can also cause strain to your eyes and affect your posture. So, ease up on text messaging for a while. Whenever possible, speak on the phone. This will take the pressure off the thumb and prevent thumb pain.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.