According to recent survey’s, 81% of Australians use a smartphone. This jumps to 96% in 18-34 year olds, with 79% of them checking their phone as soon as they wake up. In fact, 23% of people spend more time on their smartphone or tablet than talking to their partner or friends. The average person will spend between 2-4hrs a day on their mobile device, checking it over 200 times a day and adding up to almost 1000hrs of smartphone usage in a year.
With smartphones playing such a large role in our lives, it is unsurprising that many people can experience episodes of pain following their use. One of the most common injuries is texting thumb, or De Quervain syndrome as discussed in one of the earlier blogs. This is caused by the repetitive strain placed on the tendons around your thumb while texting, leading to areas of irritation and inflammation.
Common symptoms can include:
- pain at the thumb or wrist
- reduced grip strength
- reduced movement
So how can you manage your pain? Regular stretches and icing the thumb and wrist can help reduce post-texting pain. You can also try using other fingers to text, scroll or email. If this fails, a review by your physio may be necessary as in severe cases a splint or taping to support the joint may be necessary.
However, the most effective treatment is to spend less time on your smartphone and talking to your friends or partner. Even checking your phone only 100 times a day can reduce the time spent on your device by 500hrs over the course of the year. Imagine what you could do with all that free time!