Almost everyone has a smartphone these days and we are holding onto it all day long. We practically can’t function without them and it has created a problem for some. Tapping the screen all day has lead to repetitive stress conditions called “texting thumb” or “trigger thumb”. For gamers, it is referred to as “gamers thumb” and happens from gaming long hours with game controllers. Left untreated, the pain in the thumb can worsen and also cause tendinitis in the arm.
The official medial term for this condition is De Quervain’s tenosynovitis. Symptoms of this condition start with pain in the wrist below the base of the thumb. If not taken care of, your tendons become inflamed from overuse causing hand pain and in severe cases the need for surgery. Orthopedic doctors recommend these practices to help prevent getting to that point.
- Keeping your elbows straight to not restrict blood flow or text with the phone on a table.
- Switch to texting with your fingers on one hand while holding the phone in the other.
- Use hands-free commands and voice recognition.
- Do smartphone stretches by taking breaks to stretch your tendons and muscles.
- Applying hot or cold compress to your tendons and muscles to relax them.
- Massaging the hand to loosen the stiff muscles.
An Old Solution for a New Problem
As you can see, baoding balls can help prevent texting thumb by keeping your tendons and muscles nimble and stretched. The balls also have a massaging affect on the acupressure points in the hand.
If you are starting to experience symptoms such as stiffness, numbness, cramps, pain, or tingling when using your phone, it’s time to take action before it’s too late. Continuing to ignore the symptoms can lead to years of worse hand problems and symptoms that don’t go away without help from a doctor.