Why is it happening? What can you do about it?
Thumb and wrist pain can happen with technology for a number of reasons, the most common are overuse or poor body posture. Other reasons you would experience pain could be:
- Use of a laptop for long periods of time
- Constant mouse use with one side/hand
- Phone use in a poor position
- Position of thumbs on device
- Keyboarding with wrists rotated inwards
- Touch pad screens
- Weight of devices
Symptoms include, numbness, pain, stiffness, circulation issues, and swelling.
What can you do to relieve symptoms? The most helpful approach to hand or wrist pain with technology is to rest. You should be taking a break every 20-30 minutes from a task. If you have difficultly with this you could set a timer or use an online application called Workrave found at www.workrave.org.
Other treatment options include: ice, heat, anti-inflammatory medication, splinting, brace use, stretching, strengthening, cortisone injection, surgery, occupational or physical therapy, activity modification, dry needling, ultrasound, tens unit, or paraffin wax.
If you can take breaks during the day, stretch and set up your technology use to be in the best posture you will really improve your body’s health and decrease pain.
For help with pain that is not subsiding or questions about specific stretching/strengthening please contact our Occupational Therapy Team at Freedom Physical Therapy Services.