Overuse pain, like "texting thumb," "cell phone elbow," "smartphone spine" and others can cause you to lose strength in affected areas, stress tendons, ligaments and muscles, and can even cause permanent damage if they're not addressed properly. And while we're not doctors and cannot tell you when to seek treatment, we have found some tips that just might come in, um, handy. Let's take a look!
If you have "texting thumb," or even minor or occasional thumb pain, tenderness, weakness or tingling, aside from seeing a professional about it, you might consider giving your thumbs a break by switching to voice-to-text messaging or even texting using your index fingers. It might slow you down, but it will give your thumbs a break.
For those with "smartphone spine" or any neck, back or shoulder pain that is either cause by or exacerbated by cell phone use, try to find a way to use your phone that keeps it as close to eye level as possible. In addition, seek help from a medical professional who can guide you through exercises and practices that can reduce or eliminate your pain.
If you have "cell phone elbow" or phone-related wrist pain, try using a hands-free Bluetooth headset from our accessories collection that will allow you to take and make calls without holding your phone.
Realize that you don't need to keep your phone with you every moment of every day. You can give your body a break sometimes and go out without it. This will help limit the amount of time you spend aimlessly checking your device or surfing your favorite apps. It will also have the added benefit of helping you to engage more deeply with those around you.
Work with a doctor, yoga instructor, or personal trainer to find gentle stretches that can help you relieve any discomfort, and gain strength and flexibility so you can live (and text and talk) more comfortably now – and in the years to come.
If you experience pain while using your smartphone, stop. Take a few minutes and give your hands, thumbs, elbows, neck, shoulders and/or your back a rest. If it comes back and the steps you've taken don't provide relief, see a doctor. You may feel silly about making an appointment for your sore thumbs, but there are exercises and treatments that trained medical professionals can provide to you so you can get the relief you need to live your best life.