Texting Thumb is a repetitive stress injury that affects the thumb and wrist. Pain and sometimes a popping sound are present on the outside of the thumb at or near the wrist. There can also be a decrease in grip strength or range of motion.
The opposable thumb is very good at performing opposing actions to the hand and fingers, otherwise known as gripping. The muscles and mechanics of your anatomy support this function. The thumb acts as the lower half of a pair of pliers.
Texting Thumb can be a form of tendonitis, tenosynovitis or a combination of both of those disorders. In either case, it means something is irritated, inflamed and swollen. In Texting Thumb there is an inflammation of the tendons and/or the synovial sheaths that cover the tendons that control the motion of your thumb.
It may also be an inflammation in the tenosynovium, a slippery membrane that acts as a sliding surface, in the opening in the wrist that the tendons slide through. Often the swelling from the inflammation in either the tendon or tenosynoviti causes irritation that leads to inflammation in the other after repetitive use.
It can be quite painful and reduce your ability to grip.
Sensible advice :
- If texting starts to hurt. Stop. Use the other hand or call instead
- Vary the hand you use
- Vary the digits you use
- Don’t text for more than a few minutes without a break
Stop these exercises if you feel any pain otherwise you can do more harm than good.
In your texting hand: –
- Tap each finger with the thumb of the same hand. Repeat x 5
- Pull your thumb firmly with the other hand. Repeat x 5
- Wrap an elastic band around the tips of fingers and thumb and open your hand against the resistance. Repeat x 20
- Palms down wrap an elastic band around each thumb and force apart. Repeat x 20
- Tap the palm and back of your hand on your thigh as quickly as you can. Repeat x 20
- Massage thumb web, back of forearm and front of forearm. 2 minutes.
- Press and rub in a circular motion the painful nodules in those muscles. 30 seconds for each nodule.
- Reach up high with both arms and shake your hands. Reach down low with both arms and shake. Repeat x 3.
- Arms at 45 degrees squeeze them behind you.
- If it still hurts after a week of doing exercises wrap an ice pack on sore hand and arm parts. Do not put ice directly on the skin but wrap in a thin cloth or piece of kitchen roll. 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off. Repeat x 3.