WHAT IS TEXTING THUMB PAIN?
Have you ever experienced a tingling or sharp pain in your thumb after spending hours scrolling through your phone? If so, you may be suffering from texting thumb syndrome, also known as smartphone thumb or gamer’s thumb.
Texting thumb syndrome is a repetitive strain injury that occurs when you overuse your thumb while texting, gaming, or using other electronic devices with small screens. It is caused by the constant repetitive motion of your thumb pressing on the device’s touchscreen, which can lead to inflammation and swelling in the tendons and muscles of your thumb.
Tendons that run up our thumb allow us to move it and they come through a tunnel at the side of our wrist. If the thumb is overused, the tendon starts to swell. That in turn causes the tunnel to swell, which causes the pain at thumb.
The symptoms of texting thumb syndrome can vary from mild discomfort to severe pain, numbness, and weakness in the thumb, hand, and wrist. In some cases, it may also affect the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
HOW TO AVOID GETTING TEXTING THUMB?
Here are some ways to avoid getting text thumb:
- Improve your posture: Support your forearms when you use your smartphone.
- Don’t use your thumb all the time: Hold your phone in one hand and use your index finger on the other hand to text or scroll.
- Keep your messages short: Use abbreviations and predictive text instead of typing every letter.
- Record a voice message or make a phone call instead of texting a message.
- Try not to text too fast.
- Set up alerts on your phone to keep track of your usage.
If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop using your phone and rest your hands
WHAT ARE THE EASY WAYS CAN I DO TO RELIEVE THE PAIN?
Thumb stretch: Place your hand on a flat surface, palm down. Stretch your thumb away from your palm, reaching as far as you can. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds and repeat several times.
Tissue massage : Start with your right hand open, with the fingers spread wide. Take the index finger and thumb of your left hand and gently massage the tissue between the thumb and index finger of the right hand. Massage for 15 seconds and then switch hands.
Hand Squeeze: Begin by opening up both hands and spread the fingers wide until you feel a stretch.Then curl the fingers in to make your fists into a ball. Squeeze for a moment.Open both hands up and repeat steps 1 and 2 for 5 repetitions.
Wrist Stretch 15 seconds : Start with your arms out in front of you. Open up your palm and use the other hand to pull down the palm as shown in the picture . Hold for 15 seconds and then release.
In conclusion, texting thumb syndrome is a common condition that affects many people who use electronic devices on a daily basis. Although it can cause discomfort and pain, there are ways to prevent and treat this condition, such as taking frequent breaks, doing stretching exercises, and using ergonomic devices.
Remember to take care of your hands and give them the rest and care they need. With a little effort and awareness, we can all enjoy the benefits of technology without compromising our health.
Your Physio Kepong