Smartphones are a must-have for most, young and old. These devices allow us to learn, play games, share our interests, like other people’s stuff, send emails, watch videos and stay in touch with our loved ones via voice calls, text, and video calls.
Despite smartphones making our lives easier, many people are complaining of pain in their fingers, hands, and elbows due to using them. These conditions are also known as “text claw” or “cell phone elbow” in non-medical terms.
Are smartphones having a real negative effect on the health and well-being of our upper extremities?
Studies have shown that thumb and hand pain has increased over the past 10 years across the population. The symptoms most talked about include thumb pain and numbness. According to 02, a mobile provider, 43% of smartphone users have had thumb pain, text claw, or cell phone elbow in the past 5 years.
What’s Text Claw?
Text Claw is a term that refers to finger cramping and aching from scrolling, texting, and gaming on smartphones. It’s not medical. You can also call it “Cell Phone Elbow”, which describes numbness and tingling in the pinky and ring fingers after the elbow bends for a long time. These conditions can be described medically as cubital tunnel syndrome or carpal tunnel syndrome.
With some minor modifications and stretching, it is possible to get back to texting friends pain-free in no time!
Treatments For Text Claw
These stretches are designed to improve flexibility and reduce discomfort.
- Prayer Position Stretch This particular stretch will help loosen your wrists, forearms and shoulders. Start by placing your fingers and palms together, with your fingers pointed up and your elbows pointed outward. For at least 30 seconds, you can hold this position. Slowly lower your hands, but keep them together to increase the intensity.
- Reverse prayer position stretch: Keep your body in the same position you used for the prayer position stretch. However, now press the backs of the hands together with your fingers facing downward. This stretch should be held for at least 30 seconds. Slowly raise your hands, keeping your elbows outward and your fingers together. This will increase the intensity.
Your fingers and hands are used in many activities throughout the day. Your wrists and fingers are vital to your daily life. It’s important to take care of your fingers and wrists, especially if you are texting or playing for long periods of time. This can prevent tendonitis as well as carpal tunnel syndrome. These exercises can be done regularly to maintain pain-free wrists and fingers.
Professional Physical Therapy is a great option for anyone suffering from elbow, finger, or hand pain. Our patients here at Pro+Kinetix can expect to receive a personalized care plan to keep you pain free!