Texting thumb, also known as blackberry thumb, is the term being used to describe thumb injuries related to texting. It may sound funny, but it’s no joke, considering billions of texts are sent every single day, and your thumb is not meant to engage in repetitive motions …
Texting too often can lead to thumb strain and worse — arthritis, tendonitis and enough pain and dysfunction that surgery has even been recommended!
Millions Suffer from Texting Pain
A shocking 3.8 million people suffer from text-related injuries each, according to a survey conducted by Virgin Mobile.[i] They found reports of sore wrists and thumbs rose by more than 38 percent in the last five years. Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are becoming all too common, causing swelling and pain in thumbs, wrists and hands.
Doctors are even adding “texting tendonitis” and “Blackberry thumb” to their list of diagnoses, right alongside the old standbys like tennis elbow and carpal tunnel …
There are also reports of at least one woman (and there are likely more) who went under the knife because of her iPhone habit; a mortgage banker from Philadelphia, the woman said she would spend up to 12 hours a day texting her clients.[ii] As a result, the tendons in her thumb became extremely inflamed, and she had them surgically removed.
But thumbs are only the latest casualty to technology … anyone heard of “Guitar Hero wrist” or “cell phone elbow”? These are two more legitimate, and growing, consequences of the 21st century.
Texting Pain Can Impact Your Whole Body
Your thumb is not the only body part affected by excessive texting. In fact, because texting involves a similar posture as typing, researchers are suggesting that many of the pains associated with too much computer keyboard use will be applicable to avid texters.
One study by Temple University researchers even revealed a link between texting and shoulder pain,[iii] and past research has found elbow pain is common as well. Your neck and wrists may also be at risk.
How to Avoid… and Heal… Texting Thumb
If you’re suffering from thumb strain from too much texting, it’s a sign that you need to take a break from this method of communication. Because Blackberry thumb is a repetitive motion injury, it’s essential that you stop the problematic motion, in this case the texting, in order for healing to occur. If you already have texting pain or thumb strain, Heal-n-Soothe® is an all-natural solution that will end the inflammation and stop pain, permanently.
As for prevention, if your thumb feels stiff or sore at the end of the day you’re probably texting too much. Lay off on the texts now, or you risk making the condition worse. In the meantime, you can try the following exercises to combat texting thumb:[iv] [v]
- Tap your thumb to the tip of each of your fingers on the same hand, repeating five taps on each finger
- Pull your thumb gently downward (so your thumb and forefinger look like an “L”) with your opposite hand, holding the stretch for 10 seconds
- Hold your hand out, palm facing down. Spread your fingers as far as you can, holding the stretch for 10 seconds
- Massage the thumb web on your hand
- Wrap a rubber band around the tips of your fingers and thumb, then open and close your hand 20 times
- Wrap a rubber band around your thumbs (face your palms down) and stretch it 20 times