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Overuse of certain muscles and tendons from constant smartphone use can cause inflammation and tendonitis, resulting in pain. Here’s how you can help.

Constant smartphone use can lead to tendonitis, inflammation and pain. The thumb is mainly affected due to holding the phone in the palm and using the thumb for repetitive texting and scrolling.

Overusing the same muscles/tendons can lead to inflammation and tendonitis, which results in pain and difficulty using the hand. It can also contribute to osteoarthritis or exacerbate symptoms of arthritis if it is already present.

Trigger thumb can be caused by texting too much. This is where the flexor tendons becomes inflamed and does not glide through the supporting pulleys, making your thumb click and get stuck in a bent position.

Try some of these techniques to reduce your pain:

• Rest and reducing inflammation is the key to reducing pain

• Take breaks or switch hands

• Place your phone on the table and use a finger instead to scroll or text

• Use voice to text feature to reduce repetitive thumb motions

• If these strategies are not enough to resolve or reduce symptoms to a manageable level, a splint may be required to immobilise the thumb/hand to rest the joints and tendons for a period of time.

• Slow re-introduction of use, activity and strengthening can be commenced after pain has resolved. Your hand therapist will be able to determine your need for a splint and provide specific exercises for you.

If you have any questions regarding pain in the hand, wrist or arm from using a smartphone or any other activity, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.