The average American checks their smartphone 47 times per day. Our smartphone addictions can cause problems such as sleep disturbance and anxiety. Smartphone use can also lead to a variety of orthopedic conditions. Smartphones were not originally designed with our hands and wrists in mind.
One of the most common orthopedic conditions related to smartphone use is texting thumb. Rapid, repetitive thumb movements can cause inflammation around the thumb joints as well as the muscles and tendons that move them.
Another orthopedic condition related to smartphone use is cubital tunnel syndrome, or smartphone elbow. The most common symptoms of smartphone elbow are numbness or tingling in your pinky or ring fingers and pain at your elbow. It commonly results from pinching of the ulnar nerve when your elbow is bent for a long time, such as holding a smartphone or tablet, or if there is pressure on your elbow by leaning on the armrest of a chair.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, one of the first things you can do is limit use of your smartphone. You can also adjust how you use your smartphone, such as using voice recognition to dictate text messages instead of typing with your thumbs.
If your symptoms don’t improve or get worst, please call us at Central Montgomery Orthopedics to schedule an evaluation.