girl holding a phoneIn a highly digital world, staying connected is necessary now more than ever. People all over the world carry their respective smartphones everywhere they go, to be grabbed whenever necessary. Smartphones are used to check the weather, read the news, chat with friends and family, and even watch videos for a small break. 

They‘ve become an undeniable part of our daily lives, but it‘s important to remember that too much of anything is never good. Prolonged usage can harm your hands, causing pain, burning, numbness, and even weakness to occur. The constant movement used to scroll and text eventually affects the hands and wrists, making it vital to learn ways to keep them well protected. 

To help you better understand and protect your wrists and hands, we‘ve curated this simple guide for you to follow:

Tip #1: Keep your thumbs as safe as possible 

The thumb takes much of the pressure when using smartphones, especially since they‘re used to text and scroll endlessly. Extensive use causes the tendon sheath to become inflamed, later leading to nerve damage and chronic pain. 

If you wish to protect your thumbs carefully, make sure to use them less frequently while on your smartphone. Use your other fingers to text whenever you can, as this decreases the pressure borne out of a constantly bent thumb position. 

Tip #2: Take some time to relax your wrists 

Whenever you‘re using your smartphone, make sure to keep your wrists as straight as possible. A protective case can help ensure a firm grip, which decreases the need to hold your phone tightly. Investing in a headset and microphone can also help, as this eliminates the need to talk on the phone while pressed to your ear. 

If pain begins to arise, however, remember RICE (rest, ice, compression elevation). RICE is a first aid strategy, which allows you to alleviate the onslaught of pain and inflammation. Keep careful note of the following steps:

  • Rest your wrist and hand
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected areas
  • Compress using a brace, as this will help support the affected muscle, ligaments or joints
  • Elevate the affected area above heart level to reduce swelling 

Tip #3: Cut your screen time 

Although investing in extra gears and resting can help, nothing quite compares to the power cutting back on your smartphone can do. This is simply the best way to prevent hand injuries, so make sure to schedule your smartphone use accordingly. 

Limit your sessions to up to 30 minutes only, taking a short break to relax your hand before using it again. It‘s also best to make the rest time count by doing stretches, most of which should encompass your hand, finger, and wrist stretches. 

The Bottom Line

In such a fast-paced world, existing without a smartphone seems next to impossible. Too much of anything is never good, however, and this is especially true for mobile phone usage. One can easily end up with chronic pain and nerve damage, so make sure to keep these tips in mind.

Should the pain persist beyond weeks, however, it‘s best to talk to see a specialist. You may end up getting medication, or perhaps physical therapy to improve your hand and wrist state. 

For the best hand specialist in Jacksonville, Hand & Wrist Center is the place to go. We offer state of the art facilities, along with leading surgeons to ensure you get the best possible care. Book a consultation today.