With bigger and bigger mobile phones being released, it’s worth remembering that with the exciting new technology in your pocket can come decidedly unwelcome new injuries!
As phone screens get bigger, users are more at risk of developing tendinitis, which is a condition that causes painful inflammation of the tendons in the thumb and wrist. So how can you tell if you have it, and what can you do to treat it?
The Finkelstein Test is the most basic test for tendinitis. To test yourself, simply make a fist with the affected hand, tucking your thumb inside your fingers, then bend your wrists laterally - as if you were trying to make the side of your hand touch the side of your arm (which will move the tendons you’re testing). Feeling pain by your thumb is counted as a positive result. You may also notice pain or swelling at the base of your thumb or side of your wrist.
Initial treatment for tendinitis is to put down the phone - you need to rest your hand more! Think of the pain as an early warning; if you keep carrying out the same repetive movements the pain will get worse.
Gentle stretching can help. One technique to try is to relax your forearm on a table and hang the affected hand off the edge. Bend the wrist so that your hand points down, and then bend the wrist the other way so your hand points up. This can help improve the mobility of your wrist
If the pain is new, icing the area can help, but if you’ve had it a while, heat is better.
You may also want to think about taking anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen.
Tendinitis can also indirectly cause pain to the forearm, shoulder and neck, as the body contorts to try and adjust and protect the affected areas. And if you’re using your phone enough to have given yourself tendinitis, you’ve probably strained your neck and shoulders already.
Positional release, trigger point techniques and muscle energy techniques can help if your pain has gone beyond being relieved with a bit of a rest and a stretch. If you want to get rid of that pain, book an appointment with us today.