In today’s technological age, the world is at your fingertips. However, modern technology could also be what is causing pain in your arms, wrists, and hands. Typing, scrolling, and swiping require movements that put stress on several small muscles, tendons, and nerves in our fingers and wrists. For example, typing on a Blackberry, smartphone, or another handheld device requires repetitive thumb motion that may lead to a variety of conditions, including tendinitis. The pain usually forms around the knuckle, and frequent handheld device users may even experience a clicking sound while bending the thumb. Some smartphone users may be at risk of developing arthritis, which can also result from activities that require similar repetitive thumb motions, such as text messaging and playing video games. These repetitive motions can lead to inflammation, pain, and even surgery for severe cases.
Treatment for Smartphone Thumb
In most circumstances, the best treatment simply involves resting the thumb. If you know you’ve been on your phone or other devices for most of the day, put it down periodically. Avoid sending long or frequent messages with the devices and use a computer with an ergonomic keyboard designed to limit strains on the hand instead. You might try switching the hand in which you hold your device. Another effective treatment is placing your device on a tabletop rather than holding it. Don’t forget about voice messaging either, as it can help alleviate the stress altogether. If the problem persists, it might be time to take an anti-inflammatory or consult your doctor. He or she may recommend steroid injections or surgery. Luckily, these procedures are minimally invasive and can be done in under 20 minutes with a recovery timeframe of just two to four weeks.