I have a deep ache in the base of my right thumb and in the associated muscles in the pad of the hand, as well as soreness radiating from the thumb to the wrist on the top of the hand…
As a Physiotherapist with a strongly biased ‘hands on approach’ not so surprising you might say; years of use and abuse all in the line of duty!
I thought so too at first. I then reluctantly started to blame my golf and maybe even the excess amount of mouse and keyboard work that has entered my world…
However, the penny finally dropped. Although any one of these things could be contributing to my overuse type issue with the wrist and thumb, I realised embarrassingly that it was from using my mobile phone!
I have long been aware of the many risks associated with overuse of the mobile phone, but not for me, an average aged, average phone using adult! Being right handed I had developed the habit of holding my slim but wide and long iPhone in one hand, doing every tap with the right thumb often at full stretch. I was actually quite proud of my speed!
However, I realised I had been over using the thumb muscles to work the thumb at full stretch and had not once thought to stretch out either my thumb or my wrist.
So I started stretches, applied some K tape and did some soft tissue release of the muscles of the thumb and forearm. Most importantly I changed my usage habit. I went back to two handed typing, and reduced the amount of typing I was doing without taking a pause for breath!
So, be aware, not only do we have all the issues linked to lack of concentration when using our phones, you can develop overuse injuries of the thumb and wrist as well.
If you are also beginning to feel symptoms, don’t ignore them. The quicker you make changes and seek treatment and advice from a Physiotherapist the better, as overuse injuries can be stubborn.