Thursday, August 11, 2022

Can You Get Carpal Tunnel From Using Your Phone

Don't Miss

Carpal Tunnel Risk Factors

Patient Self Diagnose Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Everything You Need To Know – Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is more likely to occur if:

  • You are a woman. Females are three times more likely to get it than males. One reason might be that females carpal tunnels are smaller.
  • A family member suffers from small carpal tunnels.
  • Have a job that involves repetitive motions with your arm, hand, or wrist, such as an assembly line worker, knitter, sewer, baker, cashier, hairstylist, or musician.
  • Dislocate or fracture your wrist.
  • People with diabetes or other metabolic disorders are likely to get this disorder.

How Do I Fix Or Avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

It looks like I fall into all of these categories am I bound to get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Not necessarily, but you do need to be proactive!

If youre concerned you may have CTS, a physician will conduct some tests on you in order to diagnose. They could perform the Tinels test , Phalens test , or an Electromyography test .

Once theyve concluded you do in fact have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, here is how it can be treated:

  • Most mild cases will recommend rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, ice, and/or a splint. Avoid activities that caused or aggravated the injury. Youll want to wear the splint if you cannot avoid aggravating activities as well as when you are sleeping.
  • The most important thing to do when treating your CTS is to exercise! These exercises will likely be given to you by a physical or occupational therapist and will help to strengthen the weak wrist. This is very often why many people get injured in the first place. Moving your wrist in ways it is not used to is a great way to strengthen in all ranges possible, rather than simply overuse the wrist in the same position. Doing the latter will lead to damage or injury in the long run!

How To Treat Hand And Wrist Pain

  • First, identify the root case. In my initial evaluation of a new patient, I get a detailed history of their device usage and activity level, and try to find if theres any correlation, Dr. Lisser says.
  • Next, modify your usage. Lisser recommends taking more breaks from the device and evaluating how you hold it. For instance, if you hold your phone with both hands and type using both thumbs, youre more likely to feel hand and wrist pain than if you hold your phone in one hand and use the other hand to type using your index finger.
  • Do some smartphone stretches. While taking a break from your device, try some exercises like flexing your wrist and hand back and forth, and even giving the area a gentle massage to calm muscle spasms and improve circulation.
  • Try cold and hot compresses. The heat relaxes the muscles, while the ice helps with swelling and throbbing. Taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, like Advil or Aleve, can also help with pain and inflammation.
  • If youre still experiencing pain, use a wrist splint. A splint will keep your hand in a better, albeit slightly restrictive, position.
  • Consider physical therapy. Lastly, Dr. Lisser says, you can strengthen and stretch your hands and wrists in physical therapy.
  • If the problem persists for more than a couple weeks, or it worsens, consult a doctor. And whenever possible, use the hands-free option on your phone or other devices. The less time you put strain on your hands and wrists, the better.

    Recommended Reading: Neck Pain And Nausea Symptoms

    What Do I Do If My Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms Return

    CTS is a syndrome not a disease, if the conditions that led to the carpal tunnel syndrome are not eliminated, CTS symptoms will likely reoccur over time.

    Carpal Tunnel returns even after a successful Carpal Tunnel Surgery.

    That is one of the major reasons why the Carpal Tunnel Surgical Procedure is an absolute last resort.

    Who wants to undergo surgery with all the risks, downtime and potential complications for a syndrome that reoccurs?

    Also, steroid injections only work for 50% of people with CTS and the effect only last a few months. Routine steroid injections is not a good idea, so steroids are only a temporary stop-gap at best. Long-term exposure to corticorsteroids has led to joint deterioration and accelerated arthritis in animal studies. With arthritis at near epidemic levels in older adults steroids and not a good idea for a reoccurring chronic condition like CTS.

    Most people find that after completing the Carpal Solution Therapy Six Week protocol that their Carpal Tunnel Syndrome will go into remission for two to seven years.

    However, with people who use their hand intensely or have physiological conditions, like say a Thyroid condition, there symptoms will return more quickly and they will need to do the Carpal Solution Therapy Preventive Program to keep their hands healthy.

    The good news is that you can stay active and work and play as much as you need to or want to do.

    A Texting Teen With Tendinitis

    Can You Get Carpal Tunnel From Phone Use

    Kakar, who was not involved in the study, described the study as interesting, despite some of its limitations.

    I think youd be hard-pressed to have a direct linkage between too much electronic device time and carpal tunnel syndrome, he said of the study. I dont think its been proven by this, but it does raise awareness.

    For smartphone users who have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome or have some hand or wrist pain, Kakar offered advice.

    Rather than texting all the time, you can use the many different voice applications in existence or simply try using different fingers to text, he said. Most of the time, when you have a tendonitis type of problem, hand therapy can help, but honestly, using less or in a smart way may be the best way to go.

    One case study of a 14-year-old girl who said she texted four hours a day and developed tendinitis was published in The Journal of Family Practice in 2011. The girl not only was treated with a thumb spica splint and aspirin as needed, she modified her texting activity, according to the study. After about a month, she reported no longer suffering pain.

    Some doctors point out that your hands and wrists are not the only body parts that may suffer due to too much texting.

    Read Also: Does It Hurt To Cut Your Wrists

    Severe Stage Carpal Tunnel

    In thesevere stage numbness or pain is constant, with no respite during the day or night. And it’s almost intolerable. It can be so bad that patients often tell me,I want to cut my hand off.

    Some describe the numbness as crushing thats ever-present and relentless, even at night. If the main symptom is pain, people describe it as “cruel” or “punishing” and it’s always relentless.

    Eventually patients lose the feelings of hot and cold sensations in their fingers and hand. Also, the muscular bump at the base of the thumb noticeably flattens out, and the skin over the muscle wrinkles. Thats because the thumb muscle has degenerated. This begins the final, irreversible stage of carpal tunnel syndrome.

    How Is It Treated Answer For Cubital Tunnel Syndrome And Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Mild cases of cubital tunnel syndrome can be treated by keeping pressure away from the elbow, protecting the funny bone by wearing an elbow pad or wearing a splint to sleep to avoid over-bending the elbow. Surgery is performed where the nerve compression is so severe as to release the pressure on the ulnar nerve.

    For carpal tunnel, wrist splinting, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids may be used to relieve the pain, endoscopic or open surgery might be the way to go if severe.

    Recommended Reading: Pain In Waistline Area

    How Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Happens

    At its core, carpal tunnel syndrome iscausedby overworked or stressedflexor tendons.These tendons run from your forearm to your fingertips. They’re responsible for curling your fingers .

    When tendons are stressed, their coverings inflame and swell withfluid.Normally, that swelling isnt such a problem anywhere else on the forearm. But if swelling and fluid builds up inside the wrist joint, things gets serious.

    Inside the wrist joint the flexor tendons travel through a passageway called thecarpal tunnel. As shown in the picture above, theyre accompanied through the passageway by the median nerve.

    Themedian nerveis responsible for activating finger movements and also carries sensory information from the fingers all the way to the brain. In other words, its the main motor and sensory highway for the hand and fingers.

    As the inflamed flexor tendons swell and expand with fluid, they push against the median nerve. With no extra room, the median nerve gets squeezed and compressed. This results in a compression injury to the nerve, causingneuropathy.

    When Should I Seek Treatment For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    How to Wrap Your Wrist for Carpal Tunnel with BraceAbilitys Support Brace

    You should seek treatment for CTS as soon as any symptoms begin to appear. If you find that you are experiencing difficulty performing your daily activities or pain in the hand or wrist, please make an appointment with your primary care physician immediately. Receiving professional treatment will make navigating CTS much easier for you, and promote your ability to return to a regular level of activity.

    For further reading material, feel free to check out our section on orthopedics and other wrist-related articles. If you have any other questions, please call and schedule an appointment today!

    Medical Reviewed by Dr. Roman Shulze

    Also Check: Will A Lidocaine Patch Help Sciatica

    Can Smartphones Cause Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

      Most of us are guilty of spending too much time on our phones. After a while, all that swiping and scrolling may feel like its taking a toll. Your wrist might ache, or your hand could feel numb or tingly.

      Could it be the sign of a greater problem?

      Here, Ill explain what you might be experiencing when you have wrist pain after using your phone starting with the question that concerns a lot of people.

      Can smartphones cause carpal tunnel syndrome?

      From our current understanding of carpal tunnel syndrome, smartphones cannot cause it.

      Carpal tunnel syndrome is when theres excessive pressure on the median nerve as it crosses the wrist. The most common reason for carpal tunnel syndrome is idiopathic it just happens and we cannot point to a specific cause.

      Carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with other diagnoses such as diabetes or hypothyroidism, but there is limited evidence that any specific physical activity actually causes carpal tunnel syndrome. That being said, certain physical activities may exacerbate symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and one such activity is holding a cell phone to your ear. Many patients will note the onset of symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome as they are talking on their cell phone.

      Can smartphones cause other wrist pain?

      Phones may also cause whats known as texting thumb, which isnt a diagnosis but refers to wrist, hand or thumb pain associated with a smart device.

      How can you prevent smartphone-related wrist pain?

      How Are Video Games And Cts Connected

      As video gaming requires a set of repetitive movement in the hands, it is possible to develop CTS as a result, especially when playing frequently and for long periods of time. In fact, among the most common injuries correlated with video gaming, carpal tunnel syndrome is at the top of the list. While PC, console, and mobile gamers may experience slightly differing symptoms of CTS, the end cause is the same repetitive motion.

      Don’t Miss: Can You Die From Slitting Your Wrists

      An Overview Of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

      Your carpal tunnel is a formation of bones and tendons that protect your median nerve, which controls the movement and feeling in your thumb and the feeling in all of your fingers except your pinky. Its an important nerve!

      When you have inflammation, swelling, or damage to the structures that form the tunnel, it can put pressure on your median nerve, causing the uncomfortable sensations associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

      You may experience symptoms only occasionally, but as the condition progresses, youre more likely to have constant symptoms. Symptoms also range in severity from tingling feelings in your fingers to losing most of the functionality of your hand.

      The Problem Is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

      Can You Get Carpal Tunnel From Phone Use

      Playing the guitar requires rapid movement of all fingers for an extended period of time. This produces one of the most common overuse musculoskeletal disorders today, calledcarpal tunnel syndrome.

      Anybody who uses their hand for rapid and repetitive activities is at high risk for getting this painful condition. So it’s no wonder why getting carpal tunnel from guitar playing is so common.

      And this disorder isn’t something exclusive to musicians. Other professionals are also at high risk for getting carpal tunnel syndrome because they perform similar, repetitive hand activities. These professions are as diverse asgraphic artists,video gamers,hairdressers,carpenters,transcriptionists,typists, anddental hygienists, just to name a few.

      You May Like: Lidoderm Patch For Muscle Pain

      What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

      Most cases of carpal tunnel syndrome have no specific cause, although any or all of the following may be a contributing factor:

      • Frequent, repetitive, small movements with the hands

      • Frequent, repetitive, grasping movements with the hands

      • Joint or bone disease

      • Hormonal or metabolic changes

      • Changes in blood sugar levels

      • Other conditions or injuries of the wrist

      • Family history of carpal tunnel syndrome

      Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery

      Surgical treatment involves a procedure calledcarpal tunnel release. After back surgery, its the most common surgical procedure performed in the United States today. It can be performed in one of two ways:

      • Inopen carpal tunnel release surgery the surgeon makes a 2-3 inch long incision on the palm and cuts the carpal ligament over the wrist joint. The operation is performed using general or local anesthesia, on an outpatient basis.
      • Inendoscopic carpal tunnel release surgerythe surgeon makes smaller incisions in the hand. Then the ligament is cut via the tiny holes in the palm. The operation is usually performed with local anesthesia and on an outpatient basis.

      With both ways of doing the surgery, the end result is the same. The carpal ligament is cut, thereby giving more breathing room to the median nerve. This also lets excess fluid pressure drain away. The resultant release of pressure on the nerve decompresses it, thereby relieving the neuropathy.

      After surgery most patients require several months of hand physical therapy and rehabilitation to restore strength and function. Guitar players who had surgery usually must make some type of playing adjustment. About50% of patientsnever recover full hand function after surgery.

      Don’t Miss: Can Blueberries Make You Constipated

      When To Seek Professional Help

      Unless numbness, tingling, cramping, and stiffness continue after you put down your phone, you do not need to see a hand specialist. If you are still having symptoms when you are not using your phone, it is time to set up and appointment with me or one of my colleagues who specialize in hand injuries. A hand specialist will be able to look at the symptoms and might perform some tests to determine if you have a repetitive stress injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, smartphone pinky, tendonitis or arthritis.

      Why Do My Fingers Go Numb Holding My Phone

      How to Fix Carpal Tunnel in Both Hands Naturally

      Numbness and tingling in the ring finger and little finger are common symptoms of ulnar nerve entrapment. Often, these symptoms come and go. They happen more often when the elbow is bent, such as when driving or holding the phone. Some people wake up at night because their fingers are numb.

      Read also

      You May Like: Can Blueberries Give You Diarrhea

      Reasons You May Have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

        Experts estimate that 4 to 10 million Americans have carpal tunnel syndrome. The condition is quite painful, but its also usually treatable.

        If youre experiencing wrist pain, numbness or tingling, or weakness in your hand, you may have carpal tunnel syndrome, but its important to let the expert providers at Orthocenter properly diagnose your problem. Many other issues can cause similar symptoms.

        Can Phones Cause Body Aches

        Cell phone use encourages you to lean your head forward, looking down. This position puts a lot of stress on your muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support your head. This additional stress will cause upper body pain and stiffness. The rest of your spine including your lower back can also become strained.

        Don’t Miss: Suicide Slitting Wrist

        Is It Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Or Text Claw

          Is it true that spending too much time texting on my cell phone could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome?

          Currently, there are between 7 and 8 billion people in the world, and more than half of them use mobile devices, specifically cell phones, smartphones, and tablets. In the U.S., pretty much everyone owns a cell phone and the vast majority of those are smartphones. Estimates put average daily mobile device usage somewhere between 3 and 4 hours per day.

          Per Day.

          That is a lot of time doing something that requires the same repeated movements of our wrists, hands, and fingers. Does this necessarily lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome? We know that repetitive motion, like extended periods of time typing or texting, can result in inflammation of the tendons and surrounding tissue in the carpal tunnel. If severe enough to compress the space within the carpal tunnel this can lead to pressure on the median nerve and the corresponding pain, aching and decreased function associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.

          Surgery For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

          Q &  A: Do I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

          Surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome is usually done as an outpatient. Two types of carpal tunnel surgery are done: open surgery and endoscopic surgery. You may have local or general anesthesia, or both, for either surgery.

          During open surgery, the surgeon cuts open your wrist. The tissue that is pressing on the nerves is cut. This relieves the pressure on the nerve.

          During endoscopic surgery, the surgeon puts a long, thin rod through a tiny cut on the wrist. The rod, or scope, contains a camera and a light. The scope lets the surgeon to see inside your wrist. He or she cuts the tissue using tiny surgical tools.

          After the surgery, your hand and wrist are wrapped and put into a splint. This will help to keep you from moving your wrist during your recovery. You will need to wear the splint for a week or two. You will probably have some pain after your surgery. It’s usually controlled with pain medication taken by mouth. You may also be told to sleep with your hand elevated to help ease swelling.

          Recovery from carpal tunnel surgery is different for each person. If your nerve has been compressed for a long time, recovery may take longer. You will be encouraged to move your fingers and wrist a few days after surgery to help prevent stiffness.

          You may need to adjust your work or home activities while you recover. Talk with your health care provider about what you need to change.

          Also Check: Iv Lidocaine Side Effects

          More articles

          Popular Articles