In today’s society, many people are glued to their smartphones in order to stay connected to family, chat with friends and answer work emails at all hours of the day. Although technology has greatly improved our lives, it has also caused an increase of people with text messaging syndrome, or carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, running from your forearm to your hand, is compressed. Patients with text messaging syndrome may experience weakness, tingling, numbness or pain in the area. Needless to say, carpal tunnel is not pleasant, so you should take precautionary measures to prevent it. How? Follow these tips:
If you are constantly on your phone or typing on a computer, take frequent breaks to reduce your risk of developing carpal tunnel. During these breaks, bend and stretch your hands as much as possible to relieve any compression of the nerve that may have occurred.
When you slump your shoulders forward in a relaxed posture, you can throw off the rest of your body’s alignment. Slumped shoulders shorten your neck muscles, which then compress the nerves running through your neck. Shortened, contracted muscles in the neck affect how you hold your wrist, fingers and hands, leading to a higher risk of carpal tunnel. To avoid this issue, make sure you always sit with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed and pushed back. This will keep the rest of your body in line and protect your wrists so you don’t develop text messaging syndrome.
After correcting your body’s posture, pay extra attention to how you are holding your wrists. The wrist should not be bent upwards or downwards, as this leads to compression of the median nerve. To keep your wrists level, move your keyboard or phone up to elbow height as you use them.
Think about how much force you put into typing on your computer or texting a message to your friend. You may not even realize it, but when you use these devices, you apply a lot more force through your fingers than you need to. The more force you apply, the greater risk you have of developing text-messaging syndrome over time. Next time you send a text, type something up on your computer or even write on a piece of paper, be conscious of how much force you use. Hit each key on your phone or computer softly, and when writing, choose a pen that does not require you to press hard to see the ink. These small changes will go a long way when it comes to preventing the pain associated with text messaging syndrome.
If you are already experiencing pain from text messaging syndrome, seek treatment as soon as possible. Contact Rio Vista Wellness Center to speak to our caring team dedicated to providing integrated and holistic solutions to optimize patients’ health. Our team of practitioners will determine the root cause of your condition and create a customized treatment plan based on your individual needs.
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