In today’s world it seems most people have a smartphone – from seniors to young children. We all use them in our day-to-day lives and because they play such an integral role, we are constantly on them. Did you know that your fingers, hands, and elbows can be negatively impacted by the use of your smartphone?

As we use our phone more, researchers are starting to see more cases come to the surface of people experiencing pain in their fingers, hands and elbows. These pains have been coined as:

“Text Claw”: This describes the feeling people get when they have been scrolling or texting on their smartphones. They experience finger cramping and aching muscles. The medical term for it is “cubital tunnel syndrome”.

“Cellphone Elbow”: This is similar to that of text claw, but pain radiates from the ring and pinky finger down to the elbow. And this is usually from the elbow being bent for long periods of time during texting or gaming on your smartphone.

“Smartphone Thumb”: This describes a shooting pain that stems from the thumb and down the wrist. The thumb becomes stiff and locks up due to inflammation of the tendon that bends and flexes your thumb.

Common Symptoms Reported:

  • Pain in elbow, wrist and finger joints
  • Numbness in the hand, especially in the pinky and ring fingers
  • Cramping in thumb
  • Tingling sensation throughout the hand and wrist
  • Muscle spasms

Do you need to ditch your smartphone to live a pain free life? No. You can try the list below to prevent some of these things or you can seek help from one of our orthopedic specialists at Methodist McKinney Hospital.

How To Prevent Negative Effects Of Your Smartphone On Your Fingers, Hands, and Elbows:

  1. Instead of typing out long text messages, keep them short and to the point. This will minimize the strain that you will be putting your hands and wrists at.
  2. Avoid using your thumbs for texting or using your phone at all. Instead, hold your smartphone firmly in one hand and use the forefinger of your other to type. 
  3. To minimize the strain on your hands, use Bluetooth or a set of earphones during your phone calls instead of putting the phone up to your ear.
  4. Utilize autocorrect. Many phones have an autocorrect feature which is useful in cutting the amount of typing and the time it takes you to type.

Some of us my may be suffering from finger, hand, and elbow pain and the source of our pain may be coming from that small smartphone device in our hands!