If you want to avoid a hand injury, you may need to take a look at how you’re using your smartphone.
We all love our smartphones, but constantly using them can lead to injuries involving your fingers, hands and wrists. Overdoing it with the scrolling and tapping can lead to painful conditions like trigger finger, thumb tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Fortunately, with the right strategies, these overuse injuries can often be prevented. To avoid a hand injury related to your smartphone, consider some of our tips below.
Pay Attention to Your Wrist and Elbow Positions
When you hold your smartphone, is your wrist always kinked? And is your elbow always bent? To avoid hand injury, keep your wrist and elbow as straight as possible most of the time. Otherwise, you could end up with symptoms of carpal tunnel or cubital tunnel syndrome.
Keep Your Smartphone in a Case
Sleek smartphones are all the rage, but thinner handsets often require our thumbs to stretch further to reach the screen. This stresses the tendons, leading to thumb or hand injury. To avoid this, keep your phone in a case — the added bulk will allow your thumbs to operate within their natural range of motion.
Take Regular Breaks from Your Smartphone
Sure, it’s hard to put down the smartphone if you’re trying to beat the next level of your favorite game or checking out the latest news on Facebook or Twitter. But take regular breaks to give your fingers and hands time to rest and recover. When you’re on break, do some simple hand and wrist stretches.
Use Other Forms of Communication
Instead of relying so heavily on texting, use your laptop or desktop to send messages. Using a regular-size keyboard to type your texts is much easier on the fingers, hands and wrists. Don’t have a computer? Plug a keyboard into your smartphone.
Consider Wearing a Supportive Brace
If you’re planning on a session of heavy smartphone use, you might want to slide a wrist brace on first. Wearing one can provide you with much-needed support for a texting or gaming marathon, and it might just help you avoid hand injury.
If your fingers, hands and wrists are already feeling the effects of your constant smartphone use, prompt treatment may stop the problems from getting worse. Wait too long, and you might end up needing surgery. In either case, Dr. J. Douglas Burrows at the Center of Orthopedic & Rehabilitation Excellence can help.
Dr. Burrows, a leading northern Utah hand surgeon, has more than 20 years of experience successfully managing injuries, disorders and conditions of the hands, fingers and wrists. To schedule a consultation for hand injury diagnosis or treatment, contact our West Valley City, Utah, office today.