The following article has been provided by Dr. Neeraj Jain, Senior Consultant, Pain Clinic, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute
All you teenagers, young guns and cell phone addicts out there! Next time you are exchanging any text message with your friends or colleagues, beware! You may end up suffering from sore wrists & thumbs and repetitive strain injury. Every year, more than 3 million people across the globe complain of injuries resulting from text messaging. People tend to hold the device in their fingers and press the tiny keys with their thumbs which results in numb fingers, painful thumb and aching wrists. It is a signal to stop.
Blackberry Thumb and iPhone finger are few of the hand ailments caused by this method of typing or pressing your phone keys. At first, you will feel a slight discomfort in your thumb and ignoring it would soon lead to its painful swelling. Following are some tips that would help you get some relief from this condition before you consult a pain specialist:
- Outward thumb bending: Bend your thumb towards the outward direction applying resistance until you feel the stretch or pull.
- Thumb Rotation: Rotate your thumb in both clockwise and anti-clockwise movement to loosen the stiffened joints and relieve pain.
- Hot Fermentation: Treat your aching thumb with hot water fomentation to increase blood circulation and help the joint muscles to relax. Add 1 teaspoon Epsom salt in a small vessel of hot water. Soak a towel in the saline water. Squeeze out excess water and place the towel on affected area. Repeat this 5 times.
- Wrap your thumb safely: To avoid any pressure on your paining thumb, keep it safe and padded at night by wrapping it in a soft bed of cotton.
Rest: Stop doing what makes your thumb hurt. Put a halt to your daily routine of texting. It won’t do any harm. This important pause will in fact allow the thumb to start healing otherwise surgery may be required which also doesn’t guarantee cure.