Is your smart phone causing you pain? Our bodies are meant to adapt to our surroundings and how we use them, but our bodies can’t adapt quickly enough with technology. The new iPad you just got will be old news in a few months, but our hands can’t catch up that fast. Overuse of your hands and thumbs from smart phone and tablets could be the reason you are having pains there.
From early on in age, smartphones, iPads, game controllers all demand high use of our hands and especially our thumbs. Many of us can’t help it, though. In this current time of instant communication, we can’t seem to put our phones down for a second. Whether you’re a baby staying quiet in the grocery store, a gossiping teenage girl, or professional typing out persuasive emails, our world revolves around our devices. You may even be reading this blog on your phone, right now!
Overuse of your thumb can lead to inflammation or tendentious. Overuse could open the door to a number of pains in your thumbs or hands such as, aching, throbbing and cramping. If you are experiencing any of these pains, you should schedule a visit with your physical therapist or give us a call to schedule a consultation, today!
At Contact Physical Therapy we have experienced hand therapists on our staff who can help you through these types of pains.
Some of the following tips or stretches should be done to help ease the pain of overuse or prevent any future issues.
- Place your phone on a table, pillow or in your lap to use other fingers for typing or swiping. Holding your phone in one hand and having that thumb do all the work is the worst position for these conditions.
- Take a break. Stop the motions that are aggravating the area. At this time a much needed and well deserved break is usually in order. Your phone doesn’t have the control here. People don’t need immediate response every second.
- Opening your palm to the ceiling and using your opposite pointer finger to push down on your open-hand’s thumb for a stretch. Repeat on the other side.
- Open and close your fingertips with a rubber band around them to strengthen these muscles.
- Avoid doing the same motions for multiple activities. If you felt you have been on your phone a lot that day, try to avoid playing video games.
- Switch hands so one hand isn’t constantly doing all the work. This will be a nice challenge for your brain as well.
- Rest and ice is highly recommended.
- See a physical therapist to asses any issues and give you professional treatment for your pain.
The bottom line is: try to give your hands a rest from time to time. If your job doesn’t require much email exchange on the weekends, try to detox yourself from your phone for a day or two. Try going on an unplugged vacation. The freedom from your phone might surprise you and your hands will be thankful too!