Smartphone Injuries: Tackle Issues Of Selfie Elbow And Texting Thumb With These Simple Care Tips

If you are one of those who are always stuck to your smartphone, then you might be too prone to injuries in elbow and thumb.

Vani Malik
Written by: Vani MalikPublished at: Sep 18, 2020
Smartphone Injuries: Tackle Issues Of Selfie Elbow And Texting Thumb With These Simple Care Tips

A smartphone has become an essential part of everyone’s life. It is commonplace to see a phone in everyone’s hand. It helps us stay connected, click pictures, operate our banks, listen to music anytime and anywhere, and what not! With this much dependency on smartphones, apart from making lives more accessible, it is hampering our overall health too. If you think that you can harm your joints only by falling or because of a sudden jerk, then you are highly mistaken. Continually using the smartphone can give a texting thumb and a selfie elbow. 


Also Read: Survey: Over 1800 Hours A Year Spent On Smartphone By An Average Indian, Impacts Mental Health

You may be just clicking a selfie-and looking for that perfect angle, but it could be internally harming your joints too. This is because keeping the arms stiff for a longer duration or typing in continuation for a more extended period can hamper the health of your joints. So next time if you are experiencing pain in thumb and arms, then rethink about the time you spend on your smartphones. 

Listed below are some tips to use your smartphone for least damage to your joints: 

  • To avoid any stiffness in joints and arms, mainly because of clicking a lot of selfies, the best is to use a selfie stick or support your elbow on some surface. 
  • Keeping alternating your thumb and fingers not to stress one particular body part while typing. 
  • Keep the phone on a surface while texting or hold with one and type with the other. 
  • Use your thumb while typing as the tip can become bent leading to increased chances of injury. 
  • Maintain that your wrist is not strained, and the smartphone is neutrally gripped. 

The Position Of The Device For Better Health 

The phone should be held in a specific manner for least damage to the joints. The phone level should be at par with the chest chin pr eye level. This is because this reduces the chances of having a bend in the neck while using a smartphone, which is one of the significant reasons for cervical or neck related ailments.  Also, one must avoid using a phone while sitting by putting your entire weight on one side of the body. By this we mean, that does not cradle your neck to hold your phone while doing other work, it might affect the spine and neck very much. Take a break after every 20 minutes of using the device.


Exercises For Thumb, Fingers, Wrist 

If you struggle with the use of a smartphone, here are some exercises that you can do undo the pain: 

  • Twist fingers/thumb into a fist and then straighten fingers for respite. 
  • Keeping the fingers together, extend with maximum stretch, and spread fingers apart while stretching too. 
  • For the wrist, hold arm with the elbow extended and flex wrist in the front direction. Keep doing it again to get respite from the tingling pain. 
  • Move wrists anticlockwise and clockwise for 15 seconds each. 


Also Read: Smartphone Pinky Syndrome: Constant Use Of Phone Could Damage Your Pinky Finger

Exercises For Neck, Shoulders 

If your neck is giving you troubles, do these exercises for respite: 

  • Gently pull the head to the side with your hands, and rotate nose towards the same side shoulder. 
  • Lift head towards the sky, breathe in and breathe out by moving the neck downwards. Repeat it ten times. 

With inputs from Dr Raghavendra KS, Consultant, Joint Replacement & Spine Surgeon, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan

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