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  • Writer's pictureDr. Maya Pande

Texting Pain and What To Do About It

Messaging is the number one use of cell phones and the average person does it up to 55 minutes a day That number goes up the younger you are. As the incidence of texting increases, so does the rate of hand, thumb and neck strain. The small keyboards, the repetitive motions and the quick movements all lead to repetitive strain/sprain injuries of the hand, fingers and thumbs. Looking down at your hand held device puts a lot of pressure on your neck, leading to headaches and neck pain. Teenagers, young adults and workaholics are most likely to have this complaint.

Here are a few things that you can do to decrease the chance of injury:

  1. Take a break! While waiting for someone to respond, instead of looking at those three little dots, stretch your hands and your neck for a bit of relief.

  2. Take a breath! If you're angry or frustrated, jabbing at the keyboard will not make the person at the other end feel your emotion any faster. Slow down. Your hands will thank you. It might also prevent you from saying something you regret.

  3. Get the app! Install the Swype keyboard on your Android or Apple phone. Instead of hitting every key, you glide along the letters to spell each word. This is what I use.

Already feeling the strain of excess texting? Here are a few things you can do to soothe the pain:

  1. If you have swelling or a sprain in your hands, ice them. (Use mild heat if you have a history of arthritis.)

  2. If they are just sore, soak your hands in warm water for about 15 minutes as needed. For extra relief, add ¼ cup of Epsom salts.

  3. Apply ice to your neck for relief from inflammation, achy joints and muscles.

  4. Get adjusted. The kind of chiropractic I use is specific enough to pinpoint exactly where the problem is in your hand or neck, so I can adjust it gently reducing pain and swelling.

These tips will help you protect your hands while keeping in touch with the people in your lives.

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