Smartphones and tablets are likely to be a top gift this holiday season. While most people will be excited to unwrap these gadgets so they can start texting and downloading apps, they should also be aware of tech-related injuries that can occur with the use of these devices.
According to recent research, young adults spend one-third of their waking hours on smartphones.1 This has resulted in a rise in injuries like “tech thumb,” which occurs as a result of unnatural movements – like constant texting. Fortunately there are joint protection exercises that can be done to help prevent text thumb. Learn more about these exercises below:
Give your thumb a break! Instead, use your index finger as a stylus so it’s the only digit texting. Although it may slow you down, this position allows your movements to be guided by your elbow and shoulder, alleviating joint strain that is otherwise placed solely on your thumbs.
If you are an avid texter and are experiencing soreness, focus on moving your upper extremities in different ways to keep all muscles strong – not just your thumb. Move each wrist backward and forward and then wave your hand in a side to side motion to encourage range of movement in your wrist.
Working a muscle group in only one way can lead to imbalances that permeate to other areas of your body, and it’s no different for your thumbs. Use your thumb to touch the tip of each finger throughout the day – it’s a safe way to train your thumb to be used in alternative ways without contributing to overuse.
If you end up experiencing aches and pains as a result of using your new smartphone or tablet, schedule a free assessment at Athletico so our experts can help you heal.
The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.
1. Gregoire, Carolyn. “You Probably Use Your Smartphone Way More Than You Think.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 5 Nov. 2015, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/smartphone-usage-estimates_us_5637687de4b063179912dc96.