With the advent of festive seasons, the online app is abuzz with the best shopping deals. The Covid pandemic has also caused many manufacturers and dealers to migrate towards online selling. Thus one may find oneself scrolling through various shopping platforms and websites on the mobile for a prolonged time duration to find the best deals resulting in aches from using the smartphones
“In today’s age, people are attached to their smartphones and feel completely naked without them
THUMB & WRIST PAIN
Pity the poor thumb. Designed by nature to grasp, hold, pinch and grip; we now command it to text, type, browse and swipe.
Smartphone use can often equal hand pain for people who end up clutching and pecking on the little screens for hours, leading to a boost in complaints at the offices of hand specialists.
The thumb is many people’s go-to digit for mobile typing even though it has less dexterity than the other fingers. The thumb’s base is quite constrained and vulnerable to the overall position of the hand so if you turn your wrist at a funny angle to hold the phone, your thumb will be affected by that awkward move
Too much typing and navigation through various websites can overuse the thumb’s tendons, causing tendonitis, or inflammation, which can lead to aching, cramping and throbbing in the area. The strain on the thumb is further amplified especially with the increasing sizes of phones these days.
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis
Thumb and wrist pain are usually interlinked as there are tendons that run through from the wrist to the thumb. A common wrist pain condition relating to smartphone usage is De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis. Also known as texting thumb, this condition affects the tendons at the wrist and base of the thumb. Tendons that run from the wrist to the base of the thumb can get inflamed from holding something in a vertical position for an extended period of time. It becomes worse when you use the same hand that you are holding your phone with to scroll.
TIPS TO PREVENT THUMB & WRIST PAIN
- Alternate between your left and right hand or even switching the finger used for scrolling through your phone that one hand isn’t doing all the work.
- Use a stylus pen instead of your finger to minimize the repetitive motion of your thumb
- Use the voice typing feature for texting or drafting emails on your phone. This will help to minimize the usage of your thumbs and give them a rest.
- Place your phone on a table and type from there. “The worst position is where you’re holding it in one hand — palming it in your hand — and then using your thumb to do everything
- Try not to use the same muscles for other activities. For example, texting and then playing video games may not be a good idea,
- Stop the activity that’s aggravating things — stay away from your device for a while or take frequent breaks
- If rest and ice don’t get rid of the pain, treatment options include putting the patient in a little splint that immobilizes the area for a few weeks and rests the tendons, or injecting medicine around the tendons to break up some of the inflammation
- Use your phone with two hands instead of one. Hold your phone with one hand and use the other hand to scroll through your phone.
BACK AND NECK PAIN
Beep’, ‘Tap tap tap’, ‘Ping’. ‘Beep’, ‘Tap tap tap’, ‘Ping’… The constant cycle of texts, instant messages and tweets has been established to affect eye health, increase stress levels and result in poor sleep. The research shows that your mobile phone may also be the culprit of back pain and neck strain.
Research carried out at the New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine has examined the strain placed on your spine with your head titled at different angles. When you are walk down the street, with your head held in the neutral, the ears in line with the shoulders and the shoulder blades tucked back, your head is exerting up to 12lbs on the spine.
When you receive a text, your head drops about 15ᵒ as you read it and 27lbs is exerted on the spine. You go to answer the text and as you become engrossed in typing your head drops another 15ᵒ. There is now 40 lbs on your spine. While you have your phone out you may as well check Facebook. Your head drops to 45ᵒ and there is now 49lbs exerted on your spine. The load on your spine increases to 60lbs as your head settles at 60ᵒ while you are scanning the Facebook pages – that’s the equivalent of 5 ten pin bowling balls, an average 8 year old child, or a Labrador!
It is estimated that the average adult spends two to four hours per day with their head tilted over their smart phone, which works out to up to 1400 hours per year with the head held in poor posture because of smartphones alone. For high school students this figure may increase to as much as 6400 hours per year.
TIPS TO PREVENT BACK & NECK PAIN
- Be mindful of your posture while using your phone – try holding your phone up higher towards your face. The reduction in the degree that your neck needs to bend to look at your phone will reduce the stress placed on your neck.
- If your arms get tired, it should be a sign to take a break from using your phone temporarily
If you are experiencing hand pain from using smartphones for extended periods of time, making lifestyle adjustments, including lessening the time you spend on the phone and other handheld gadgets, can save you from years of pain.
We understand that in this day and age it is nearly impossible not to use a smartphone, but you should be spending no more than five hours, evenly distributed throughout your day, on your handheld devices. By following the above tips, you can significantly reduce your pain and lower the possibility of temporary or permanent hand damage.
If you are experiencing continuous hand or wrist paint from smartphone use, Click here https://www.comfortmypain.com/ to find out more about physiotherapy for relief and how ComfortMyPain by Vissco can help. Vissco orthopedic products like cervical collars, wrist brace, back supports, and cooling solutions, aid in providing and reducing your discomfort and keep your smartphone pain at bay
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