We are often warned about the dangers of driving and walking while texting. A while ago, we blogged about “Candy Crush Thumb”. These common activities have sent far too many people to their physicians and worse, emergency rooms. What’s next?
The newest ailments are plentiful: Selfie Hand, Text Claw, Selfie Elbow, and Text Thumb. Say what?
It is estimated that over the course of their lifetime, Millennials will have taken a staggering amount of over 25,000 selfies. Yes, you read that correctly … 25,000 per Millennial. That repetitive action develops physical challenges in the hand and wrist and it’s not from what you would think. The weight of the phone is not the issue; it’s the position of the hand, wrist, fingers, and even the elbow that compromise muscles, tendons, and ligaments. More commonly, this is referred to as “repetitive strain”.
Some may say that using a selfie stick avoids inflammation of the hand and wrist, however, this may cause other complications in the elbow, wrist, arm, shoulders, and neck from extending the arm frequently.
Most of us cannot imagine limiting our smart phone time or disconnecting so what’s the answer to avoiding a generation of these future ailments? Here are some suggestions however, as with any new activity, check first with your physician:
- Use voice dictation when sending a text or email from your phone.
- Do a “prayer stretch” by placing palms together under the chin and pulling hands down toward the waist keeping them close to the chest.
- Push palms up above the chest and down toward your shoulders several times; using an 8 ounce water bottle or soup can may help strengthen muscles.
- Icing the inflamed area may relieve discomfort.
- Shoulder and wrist rolls may help your muscles from fatiguing.
If you do suffer from chronic pain in your hands, wrist, elbow, shoulder, or neck it may be time to see a physician who specializes in hand and wrist ailments. At Sarasota Orthopedic Associates we have highly skilled upper extremity and hand/wrist Orthopedic Physicians, as well as experienced Occupational Therapists and Certified Hand Therapists, to help you alleviate your discomfort. Check out our website at www.SOA.md where you can make an appointment at any of our four locations directly via the home page, or give us a call at 941-951-2663. We offer same day appointments when necessary.
Our commitment is to get our patients back on their feet, back to work, back in the game, and back to life!