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  Texting trauma

Texting trauma

Published : Oct 16, 2016, 10:53 pm IST
Updated : Oct 16, 2016, 10:53 pm IST

Cramped fingers, wrist pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, and muscle pain are the common complaints due to the continuous usage of hand held touch devices like smart phones and tablets for texting.

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Cramped fingers, wrist pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, and muscle pain are the common complaints due to the continuous usage of hand held touch devices like smart phones and tablets for texting.

Repeated use of the same fingers and dragging it continuously on the screen affect the joints, muscles, tendons, and nerves. For example, using the thumbs for typing texts continuously, could further lead to De Quervain syndrome, a painful affliction that involves the tendons that move the thumb. The disease is also known as ‘BlackBerry thumb’, ‘texting thumb’, and ‘gamer’s thumb’.

 

Inflammation of the fingers is another problem faced by many. This happens as the surface of the finger — the tendon sheet is constantly being used. Tendon Sheath Inflammation is the continuous overuse of the finger surface leading to early degenerative changes in the cartilage of the bones due to excess of pressure.

Dr Ravindra Babu K, consultant trauma and joint replacement surgeon at Citizens Specialty Hospital explained, “The uninterrupted usage of devices is also found to cause ganglion cysts or lumps within the hand and wrist region. It is also found to be very painful and the patient requires medical treatment for the same. Some of them also suffer from burning sensation in the hands due to constant use of the device wherein the heat from the instrument heats up the palm region.”

 

The increased use of such devices leads to stiffness and also a constant dull ache in the hands that hampers day to day activities.

“Take a break once every thirty minutes” is the constant advice given by experts to deal with these problems. Also, if someone is suffering from constant pain, avoiding the usage of device continuously is highly recommended. Relaxing methods like simple hand exercises, finger movements, wrist exercises to ensure better blood circulation and relaxation to the fingers can also be followed.

Home-based treatments and exercises Dipping the hands in hot and cold water alternatively, applying pain balm (not rubbing it in), light hand exercises and avoiding the usage of these devices, are the best home solutions to reduce pains and inflammation. If the problem persists or the pain increases, a visit to the doctor for further assistance is a must.

 

Position the wrist comfortably, for example, resting it on a cushion may be helpful in many cases (while using a mouse) or use wrist comfort pads while using the laptop.

Stretch your arms and joints and also carry out grip strengthening exercises like holding objects for a couple of minutes.