How To Deal With Smartphone or Texting Thumb Arthritis


Texting thumb, also commonly known as blackberry thumb is a common term used to describe a thumb injury due to texting. It may sound quite funny, but millions of people are currently suffering from the texting thumb arthritis, due to being engaged in repetitive motions by texting continuously.



With the recent survey conducted by Virgin Mobile, around 3.8 million people are looking out for texting thumb arthritis treatment, with a frequent complaint of sore wrists and thumb rose. Some of them have also reported unusual swelling in the wrist and pain in thumb, hands,and wrists.

Experts have suggested that right after the sports-related injuries, texting tendonitis and blackberry thumb is the second most leading cause of orthopedic issues.

Symptoms associated with smartphone thumb arthritis


Your thumb is naturally very effective for gripping; however, when it performs other functions like texting messages all the time on your smartphones, then you are certainly misusing it by putting a lot of repetitive stress on your thumb joint, muscles, and tendons. Some of the common signs and symptoms associated with your smartphone or texting thumb arthritis are:

  • Experiencing a popping sound outside the thumb, or maybe around the wrists.
  • The decrease in the strength of the grip
  • The decrease in the range of motion
  • Unusual pain in the thumb, wrists,and hands that is persistent for a longer period of time
  • Unexplained stiffness in the thumb or wrist
  • Experiencing pain while bending or stretching thumb or doing exercises.

Studies have also indicated that your smartphone addiction is not the ultimate culprit for your texting thumb arthritis, but constant use of computers, video games,and handheld consoles can also contribute towards your sufferings.

Consequences of smartphones thumb arthritis


The consequences associated with these technological causalities are not only limited to thumb but can also be affecting the whole body. Since continuous indulgence in the habit of texting involves posture issues; scientists are suggesting these texters can also experience issues such as cervical, vertigo, back pain, etc. A team of scientist, in fact, reveals the direct association of excessive texting with shoulder related pain and elbow pain. Thus, with continuous texting, you are at an increased risk of smartphone or texting thumb arthritis.

Experts have hypothesized that continuous texting forces your joints to get loose and lax, allowing different movements of bones than usual. Since, we move our thumbs always in an awkward position, while texting or holding our smartphones, it can trigger the onset of pain or arthritis issues. Some scientists have also proposed that thumb arthritis due to constant texting is a problem that occurs due to inflammatory tendons that are responsible for bends and flexes of your thumb.

Thus, too much of your thumb stretching in an unusual motion can lead to more cases of smartphone thumb arthritis.

How to avoid smartphone or texting thumb arthritis?


Considering all the findings and expert’s suggestions, first and foremost question that is being raised at the back of our mind is do we need to stop using our smartphones? The answer to this question would certainly be “no”. It is absolutely not necessary to ditch your smartphone addiction; however, you can always enjoy using it, without being suffered by smartphone or texting thumb arthritis. Below are mentioned few tips to avoid suffering from thumb arthritis due to constant texting:

  • It is always better to keep it short and simple. Experts suggest that try incorporating a habit of sending short messages, in order to minimize the strain on thumb and wrist.
  • If you are having an android phone, application with Swype feature for texting messages will always beneficial to avoid awkward motion of thumb, and keeping yourself away from smartphone or texting thumb arthritis.
  • Thanks to advanced technology that many of our smartphones are equipped with auto-correction and spell check. The function will help you to type faster without being in a strenuous position for a longer period of time. It is possible to simply type one or two alphabets and the rest will be done by your phone automatically.
  • Today many of our smartphones are also supported with an application such as speech to text. It would definitely be helpful in minimizing typing and avoid unusual motion of your thumb, saving you from smartphone thumb arthritis.
  • Experts are also proposing that many times, keeping your phone on your ears can surely put a strain on the wrist, hands, and fingers; which can certainly be minimized by using Bluetooth or earphones.
  • Never play games on your smartphones, or else if you are addicted to the same; it is always advisable to limit the addiction. Unnecessary usage of thumb can really be dangerous for smartphone or texting thumb arthritis.
  • If your work demands over usage of smartphone, then it is better to take periodical breaks to put limited pressure on your hands, wrists,and
  • Exercise is the best prevention method for smartphone or texting thumb arthritis. Doctors are suggesting a daily routine of thumb stretching exercises to keep your tendons limber and strong.
  • If you notice any sudden swelling in your thumb, apply some cool compresses and seek instant medical advice.

Texting thumb arthritis treatment


Due to scientific advancements, ailments like smartphone or texting thumb arthritis can effectively be managed, if not cured completely. Through the conventional treatment module, pain management can significantly be achieved through splints and cortisone shots at regular intervals. Doctors suggest combinational therapy, such as rest and steroidal shots to reduce pain and restore functional capacities to a great extent. Patients suffering with texting thumb arthritis are suggested routine physiotherapy to help stretching the thumb, hands, and wrists and minimize the pain associated with it.

However, patients who ignore the condition for a suitablylong period of time with severe persistent symptoms can as well be suggested carpometacarpal arthroplasty, wherein part or whole arthritic trapezium bone will be removed through a surgical procedure to relieve pain and improve functional attributes of smartphone or texting thumb arthritis.

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