Handheld electronics continue to grow in popularity, though heavy use of these devices may cause or irritate carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and other ailments of the hand, wrist and thumb.
Excessive use of the thumb to manipulate the scroll wheel on small personal music devices or for text messaging on phones and other text messaging devices can lead to sore wrists and thumbs and has led to the popular term Blackberry thumb.
Handheld electronics may require prolonged grips, repetitive motion on small buttons and awkward wrist movements. This combination can lead to an increased susceptibility to hand, wrist and arm ailments such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.
Many handheld electronics users spend hours on these small electronics every day, responding to e-mails and spooling through music lists and address books. These devices are immensely popular and are getting smaller, with even more features that encourage heavy, extended use. However, there are many preventive measures you can take to help prevent injury and strain:
Additionally, injuries can be reduced by properly warming up the hands, wrists and arms before using handheld devices. Doing so reduces the risk of injury just like it does for any exercise routine.
Pay attention to your hands and arms when using these devices. Stiffness, discomfort and soreness are all signs that you need to change your routine. You can make simple changes and be much more comfortable and healthy as you use handheld electronics.
Professional hand therapists are highly specialized physical or occupational therapists with expertise in the delicate and essential functions of the hands, wrists, arms and shoulders.
Call 444-5178 for more information about hand therapy at Rhode Island Hospital.
Source: American Society of Hand Therapists