How to Prevent Smartphone-Induced Hand Pain
Categories: General Orthopedics
Guess how much time the average person spends on their smartphone every day? Just over five hours. Of course, it’s impossible to deny that mobile devices have totally engulfed us in the past few years. As a Long Island orthopedist, we understand how useful and integral devices like iPads can be in successfully treating patients. In addition, the vast majority of us carry around our iPhones with religious commitment. Obviously, smartphones are revolutionizing everything we do, from travel to food take-out. However, excessively using any device can have negative consequences.
The constant hand motions we engage to navigate our phones can have severe consequences and lead to a number of injuries. In this post, we’ll explore how you can prevent these from occurring in the first place and preserve orthopedic health. Keep reading to find out more.
Holding Your Phone
Obviously, we all know just how to operate our desktop computers, wrist supports and office chairs in a way that’s ergonomically correct. However, it’s very difficult to use our mobile devices in the same manner. Therefore, the risk of injury is the same, if not higher. Any repetitive motion or counterintuitive posture can cause pain or injury.
Unfortunately, smartphone present a huge problem not just because we’re on them excessively. In addition, there are countless positions in which we can hold and operate them. Most of these positions have a negative effect on our bodies.
First and foremost, minimize the tension in your wrist, since this is the part that smartphones affect most directly. Straighten out your wrists as much as you can, adjusting your holding technique. Clutching your phone at the sides and engaging both thumbs places undue stress on the wrists. As often as possible, place your phone on a flat surface while you text or swipe. Or, you can try holding it with one hand and use the other to navigate the numerous apps on the device.
In addition, keeping your elbow straight will preserve healthy blood flow in your fingers. Often, many patients with vision problems habitually bend the elbows, bringing their phones closer to their faces. If this applies to you, make sure you’re wearing the right prescription glasses for clear vision of your screen at a distance.
3 Ways to Ease Hand Pain From Mobile Devices
Of course, it’s very likely that prevention methods can’t help you anymore, and you already feel some hand pain. If so, there are a few simple and reliable ways to reduce inflammation and ease pain without medical attention.
1. Stretches: In between phone use, take advantage of your hand’s freedom by doing some hand stretches. Simple flex your wrist, hand tendons, shoulders and muscles in every direction to keep them flexible.
2. Massages: By simply massaging your hand and the surrounding area, you can disperse any tension or knots.
3. Hot/Cold Compress: A hot compresses will relax your tendons/muscles around your arm. Ultimately, this allows for better range of motion. In the case of acute pain lasting a week or more, a cold compress is preferable to heat. More heat may lead to swelling and even worse pain.
Conclusion – Central Orthopedic Group
Obviously, if you can’t mitigate any hand/wrist pain at home, we’ll be happy to diagnose and treat you at Central Orthopedic Group. We have years of experience helping Long Islanders recover from every kind of orthopedic sports injury imaginable. Our smartphones may be incredible devices that have put extraordinary convenience right in our pockets. However, not holding them correctly can have unpleasant consequences. By simply applying these minuscule measures, you can easily avoid any irksome aches/pains.