Physical and Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapy Help for “Texting Thumb”

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A new Nielsen Company audience report reveals that adults in the United States devoted about 10 hours and 39 minutes each day to consuming media during the first quarter of this year.  That is A LOT of texting, clicking and typing.  Over half of the average American’s day is spent staring at a screen.  The way you hold your device, send your text out, or even type on your laptop can have a negative effect on the muscles, tendons and ligaments that support your wrist and hand.  One of the most common overuse tech injuries is “texting thumb”, and it’s caused by overuse of your thumb in typing out smart phone messages.   Pain can occur at 2 main areas with this problem.  First at the bottom of your thumb, and at the joint where your thumb meets your wrist.  Here are a few things to help you relieve your sore texting thumb.  First, rest the joint.  Try holding and using your device a different way to reduce the stress to the area.  Pop sockets are just one device that can help with using your device in a more ergo friendly way.   Secondly, stretch the thumb in the opposing direction.  Stretch it away from your hand to allow the tendons and muscles some relief.  Do this 5 times, holding each for 10 seconds.  If you’re still experiencing some discomfort, try a self release of the muscle in the base of the thumb.  You can do this by pressing your other thumb into the muscle at the base of your affected thumb.  Hold this area until you feel some tension relax out of the muscle, and attempt the gentle stretch again. 

Rest, ice, stretching and massage are some of the best ways to deal with sore and inflamed tendons.  If you have pain lasting for more than 3 days, or if it is accompanied by any numbness, tingling or burning sensations see your physical therapist right away.  Click here for more an appointment.

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