The frequent use of cell phones often equates to hand pain for individuals who clutch or peck on their screens for several hours. When you hold your smartphone the wrong way, it can also lead to more serious problems such as tendinitis and sore muscles around your arm. So, it is important to understand the best ways to avoid hand pain from cell phone use.
How To Prevent Hand Pain From Cell Phone Use
Holding your smartphone the right way
To make sure that there’s a healthy flow of blood in your phone-tapping fingers, you need to keep your elbow and wrist in a straight position while using the phone. Do not cock your phone only inches away from your eyes. If you have vision problems, get the right eyeglass to help you see the screen clearly without bringing your phone closer to your face.
The thumb may have less dexterity than other fingers, but it is the go-to digit when using a cell phone. The base of your thumb is vulnerable and constrained to the general position of your hand.
Therefore, turning the wrist at an awkward angle to hold your smartphone will affect your thumb. The thing is, you need to avoid certain movements that will put your fingers in an inconvenient position.
Tips for preventing hand pain from cell phone use
Stop doing the things that aggravate hand pain. Set aside your cell phone from time to time and take a break from using gadgets to help relieve your hand pain.
Use your phone’s voice-to-text feature in order to free your hand from typing.
The stylus pen helps in reducing the repetitive movement of the thumb when typing.
Switch hands when holding or using your smartphone to avoid putting all the pressure in just one hand.
Put the smartphone on the table when typing to relax your palm and thumb. Positions, where your mobile device is at rest, are less irritating for the wrist and the thumb.
For different smartphone activities, don’t use similar muscles such as when playing a video game and texting.
Read also: 6 Wrist Pain Exercises For Mouse/Keyboard Users
How To Relieve Hand Pain From Cell Phone Use
You can simply rest your hands and put ice on them to relieve inflammation. Other helpful options include the little splint treatment to immobilize the tendons for a while. Some inject prescribed drugs around the tendons in order to treat inflammation. But for more serious conditions, surgery is needed to permanently get relief from hand pain. If there’s a burning pain or sharp shooting sensation, as well as tingling and numbness, it may be related to an injured nerve.
The main lesson here is to control cell phone usage and rest your hands from time to time. Your thumb is important in many activities including writing, picking up, and playing sports. It’s not solely made for texting or using gadgets. But if you can’t drop your phone even for a second, make sure you use a bulky case to avoid injuring your thumb. The flip cover makes the phone thicker so you can use your thumb in the most natural way whenever you type or text.
1. Taking rests and doing smartphone stretches
As mentioned earlier, taking breaks from heavy phone use including playing games is important. Stretch out your wrist, hand tendons and muscles to keep them flexible. Always be mindful of your wrist and hand health. Use Velcro wearable support to prevent heavy phone usage from injuring your hands. Remember, any type of fine motor activity can cause pain to your tendons.
The following are more detailed ways to alleviate hand pain from cell phone use.
2. Applying heat or cold compress
With the use of a hot pad or towel at home, you can get instant relief from chronic tendinitis. The heat helps to relax the tendons and muscles around your arm and allows for better movement. However, if the pain is acute and is experienced for about one week, you can apply a cold compress because heat may result in swelling and more throbbing pain.
3. Searching for nodules and tightness through therapy
Muscle spasms can be located through massage. The goal is to break up the ball-like muscles and calm the nerves.
4. Flexing your hands forward and backward
Stretching your arms is a good exercise to relieve hand pain from cell phone use. Flex them forward and then backwards to soothe sore muscles. Make sure to do this whenever you feel discomfort in your wrist.
Here are two exercises that help you to relieve hand pain from cell phone use.
Video: An exercise for relieving tension in the wrists
5. Using your other fingers
The most common appendage that gets all the beating from intensive phone use is your thumb, especially when texting. This type of overuse can eventually lead to thumb arthritis, tendinitis and contractures.
To prevent symptoms associated with these conditions, you should diversify your texting methods by using your other fingers for typing on the screen. Also, instead of just holding your phone in one hand (which typically requires you to use your thumb when typing), use both your hands or lay your phone down on a table when you are texting. That way, you can freely use your fingers and give your thumb some time to rest.
6. Using hands-free features on your phone
If it’s time to rest your hands, but you still need to send some text messages, you can switch on your phone’s voice-to-text mode so you don’t have to use your fingers for typing. Also, using voice-activated commands to operate your phone can help you give your strained fingers, hands and wrists some rest.
7. Avoiding repetitive muscle movements
If you use your thumb for both texting and playing games, you are more likely to develop repetitive strain injuries and tendonitis. It would be better to alternate the use of your fingers for texting and playing games. If you have already spent minutes or hours texting with your thumb, don’t use your thumb again for playing games after texting—use your index finger instead.
8. Taking a break from your phone
If your hand pain is directly caused by texting or playing on your smartphone, then the best solution to make the pain stop is to simply stop using your phone—for just a while, maybe.
Taking a break from using your phone won’t hurt you in any way, but persisting to use it despite the severity of symptoms may compromise your future.
If you let your hands get strained constantly without giving them adequate rest, the problem could become irreversible and debilitating, which will restrict you from performing fine-motor tasks and enjoying what you have always enjoyed—your cell phone!
So if you are experiencing hand pain from using cell phone for extended periods of time, you better make adjustments and lessen the time you spend on the smartphone and other handheld gadgets.
The healthiest length of time to spend using your phone is five hours a day (yes! Just five hours!), evenly distributed throughout your day.
Read also: How To Relieve Wrist Pain from Drawing (Exercise Videos)
Normally, people will stop their activities or whatever they’re doing when they feel tired or pained. Taking a break from your usual routine is essential to prevent painful muscles and an aching body. Likewise, you need to control phone usage to avoid hand pain from holding the phone. So, can you challenge yourself to reduce how frequent you use your smartphone from now on?